Furious Cronulla coach John Morris has apologised to fans after what he described as a "nightmare" NRL performance against Newcastle on Friday evening.
With three rounds of the season until finals, a 38-10 loss to the Knights could cost the Sharks three players with Chad Townsend, Wade Graham and Toby Rudolf all facing suspensions.
Townsend has been slapped with a grade three shoulder charge and is facing five weeks on the sideline for a shot on Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga, for which he was sent off.
The sensational moment was just one of a number of discipline issues for the Sharks, with Graham, Rudolf and Braden Hamlin-Uele all on report for lifting tackles.
While Hamlin-Uele escaped charge, both Graham and Rudolf are facing bans for their lifting tackle on Mason Lino.
Afterwards, Morris lashed the effort of hos players.
"It was a nightmare, literally," Morris said.
"We kicked off, it went out on the full and it was just awful.
"I didn't think I'd be in this position to apologise to our fans but I have to after that.
"It was so far outside the standards of what we set ourselves at the club... we just didn't turn up with the right attitude and absolutely got our pants pulled down and bums smacked in front of everyone.
"It's really disappointing for where we are in our season.
"It's round 17, we're still in the eight but after games like that we don't deserve to be.
"Blokes have got to have a real good hard look at themselves."
The Sharks need to beat at least one of the Warriors, the Sydney Roosters or Canberra to secure their spot in the top eight.
A win against the Roosters or Raiders would be their only victory against a current top eight side this season.
"It's not ideal," Morris said.
Adding to the pain is the extensive casualty ward at Cronulla, although star half Shaun Johnson is a chance to return against the Warriors next week.
"If we can get our best 17 back, no doubt we can still do something in the season but we need to see a big response after that display," Morris said.