Sharks way off the pace: Sharp

Frustrated Cronulla coach Peter Sharp has expressed his disappointment over the Sharks' 24-4 defeat against the Sea Eagles, leaving the club one from six to start the season following their third 20 points-plus loss.

Despite his side smashing the Warriors last weekend and practically sending their former coach Matthew Elliott to the Centrelink line, Sharp was let down by yet another poor performance of indifferent defence and ill-discipline – punctuated by his side conceding three tries in the first 20 minutes.

"It was tough. It was a big game for us too today in the big picture and we were way off the pace in the first half," Sharp said, declaring the effort "embarrassing".

"In the big picture it was an important game for us – against a quality side, away from home and we didn't perform accordingly.

"I'm terribly disappointed. We were miles away as far as energy levels go especially against a team with energy and enthusiasm and we can't do it week to week."

Although their performance was very average coming off the back of their first win of the season last weekend, Sharp saw no indication that such an effort would be showcased this weekend especially against the likes of Manly.

"Our preparation was good. We stayed away last night – they had everything go in their favour and then they turn up like that," Sharp said.

"We need to start winning some games pretty smartly. The inconsistency in performances is the biggest worry for me – we're having, for various reasons, some troubles with getting our season kick-started, getting a bit of traction. It's very frustrating for us at the moment.

"It was really disappointing for us as a group. It was a big game for us moving forward as a team in the big picture but the Sea Eagles are a great team. I don't know about the players but I was excited to play Manly this week because I thought it would be a great challenge for us."

Although they sit on the foot on the ladder, Sharks stand-in captain Wade Graham believes that his side still has it in them to do something with their season especially, with the imminent return of trio Anthony Tupou, Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen.

"I definitely think we've got it in us still – we showed in that second half. In an ugly game of football where both teams weren't at their best, we didn't give ourselves a chance," Graham said.

"Like 'Sharpy' said, the preparation was good and that but we go out there and in the first 20 minutes, they put three tries on us. You give any team a start like that, especially away from home, they're hard to peg back."

It doesn't get any easier for the Sharks next weekend as they head home to take on the Sydney Roosters, who in recent times have themselves been struggling.

With a three-game losing streak consuming the Chooks, the Sharks will have to be at their very best going up against the reigning premiers - who much like them are keen to bounce back from recent troubles.