The Warriors interim coach Todd Payten has called his side’s 46-10 loss to the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon “by far the worst performance of the season.

Payten could not pinpoint why the Warriors were “soft” against a Shaun Johnson-led Sharks side that scored three tries in the first 15 minutes.

The match was a virtual training run for the Johnson, who scored one try and set up two more, while the middle forwards rolled far too easily through their Warriors counterparts.

The win would have put the Sharks back inside the top eight ahead of the Rabbitohs but for a late try to the Warriors in the dying seconds.

The danger signs were there early when impressive prop Braden Hamlin-Uele strolled through some non-existent middle defence and Will Kennedy finished off a slick scrum play to make it 12-0 after 10 minutes.

Ronaldo Mulitalo and Shaun Johnson with a brilliant touchdown joined the first half try-scoring list while Jesse Ramein and Sione Katoa produced second-half doubles.

Scott Sorensen (knee) and Patrick Herbert (HIA) were each injured in the first half while Blake Green was sin-binned for a professional foul in the second.

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