Interim Sharks coach Josh Hannay pinpointed his team's poor "attitude and intent" as a leading cause for their 34-18 loss to the Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium.
Granted, it was a hectic week as the NSW and ACT-based clubs moved to Queensland to escape Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak, but Hannay wasn't happy with some of his players' commitment on the field.
Ultimately, he felt they were fortunate to keep in touch with the Raiders for 70-odd minutes before their opponents kicked clear.
"We were way off the mark, to be honest. We were in the game; didn't deserve to be. We were just doing enough," he said.
"We had enough players out there putting in enough effort, but we had too many that weren't putting in enough effort for us to be a realistic chance tonight. It was from the outset.
Match Highlights: Raiders v Sharks
"Credit to Canberra, they were really effective with what they did. They ran hard, big bodies, created a lot of second-phase, broke a lot of tackles. But we let ourselves down with our attitude and our application. We got what we deserved."
Cronulla remain in eighth place but Newcastle (10th) are also sitting on 16 points and Canberra (9th) have now joined them.
And while the Sharks only play two current top-eight sides in their last seven matches, Hannay said Saturday's result was proof they'll still need to be on their game to secure a finals berth.
"There's just no easy game, to be really honest," he said.
"Of course, some teams in the comp are better than others, and the ladder indicates that, but there's not a team in this competition that you can just expect to roll up and get the two points [against].
"We're a team that needs to be really bang-on with our attitude and intent because that's a hallmark of us as a club and our DNA.
"When that's not there, we struggle and we need to get that right and we need to have that every week."
Hannay labelled a missed-tackle count of 62 compared to the Raiders' 22 as "embarrassing" and indicative of their mindset.
If the Sharks need any motivation, they need look no further than Aaron Woods, who Hannay said made "the ultimate sacrifice" by joining the Queensland hub with a newborn baby at home.
Tracey puts Mulitalo over
"I think it's an incredible sacrifice by him and his partner. It's a testament to Woodsy and his approach to his job," Hannay said.
"He takes his job seriously, he's a pro, and he puts the team first regularly. And for his partner to give her blessing for Aaron to basically shoot off after the birth, it's the ultimate sacrifice."
The coach also praised centre Will Chambers as he does everything possible to get back into the bubble after having to self-isolate.