When the Cronulla Sharks received a penalty in the 73rd minute trailing the New Zealand Warriors by two points in Saturday's narrow loss, what to do seemed obvious.

Despite the fact the Warriors only had 12 players on the park following Kane Evans second sin binning of the contest, he was going to be back just 60 seconds later, and the penalty was in range of a penalty goal to tie the game up.

But instead, the Sharks quickly played on, pushing for the full six and the lead in the final ten minutes.

Just two tackles later, those plans went up in smoke though as five-eighth Connor Tracey stabbed a grubber through the line which would roll dead.

From there, the gutsy Warriors, still down on troops and having spent 20 minutes of the game with just 12 players on the park, were able to hang on for the narrowest of victories.

NRL Rd 8 - Storm v Sharks
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Connor Tracey of the Sharks runs the ball during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Cronulla coach Josh Hannay told the media post-game however that the decision to play on was his.

"The decision to play on was from me," Hannay said.

"I thought Braydon had missed a kick from a similar position in the first half and New Zealand were down to 12 men at that time.

"I just backed our guys. Unfortunately, on the back of backing our guys, kicking it on tackle two was not what I was expecting or what we needed. I'll cop whatever comes my way for making that decision.

"But I'd probably make the same decision again. I thought New Zealand were out on their feet, we had a man over. I just thought it was the right decision at the time to back our men to score a try."

It was a somewhat embarrassing performance from the Sharks, with the Warriors picking up their second win on the trot despite a mass injury crisis which stopped them from naming 21 ahead of their previous win over the Wests Tigers.

After leading 16 points to 6 at halftime, the Sharks, in desperate need of a win to stay in check with the top eight, crumbled in horrific fashion.

The Sharks now find themselves in tenth place, two points out of the top eight. They play the Newcastle Knights next week, before playing the Wests Tigers and Brisbane Broncos in three games which, at this stage, almost go down as must-win if they hope to play finals footy, before a final round clash against the Melbourne Storm.