St George Illawarra pulled off a miracle comeback a week ago, but they couldn't repeat the feat for a second-straight week on Saturday night.
Just four points separated the Dragons and Sharks at the end of an entertaining 80 minutes at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, but it was a rollercoaster ride for fans of both clubs.
An Aaron Woods try in 44th minute handed Cronulla a 28-14 lead, a margin that ultimately proved enough, St George Illawarra falling 28-24.
Tries to Zac Lomax and Mikaele Ravalawa narrowed the gap to four, before the Dragons had one final chance to claim a stunning victory.
With less than three minutes remaining, Matt Dufty looked to have scored the equalising try, only to be denied by the bunker, the fullback failing to ground a Ben Hunt grubber.
In a sign of how eventful the match was, it turned out that close call wasn't the side's final chance of the night, St George Illawarra going the length of the field in the last minute of the game.
Lomax came close to scoring down the right flank before Corey Norman put a cross-field bomb up for Jason Saab.
The giant winger soared high above his Sharks opposite, however the kick proved too deep, Saab unable to take control of the ball and ground it before crossing the dead ball line.
While pleased with the effort, Dragons coach Paul McGregor was disappointed his side handed the Sharks such a big lead midway through the game.
"They were much more physical than us in the first 40," McGregor said. "I thought we showed really great effort across the game, and good grit to be in a winnable position with two opportunities in the last three minutes,
"A 7-2 six to go against us, puts you under a fair bit of fatigue, which shows how hard hard we worked to be in a winnable position.
"We've got to be better at the start than we were. I know we led, but they seemed to get forward pretty comfortably."
The loss could prove costly to the Dragons finals chances, with the side now four points outside the eight.
The Sharks climbed to sixth with the win, with the Rabbitohs still to play this round.
The eventful finish came on the back of a high-quality affair in wet and slippery conditions, the first half played in heavy rain.
It was St George Illawarra were the better team throughout the early stages of the match, Tyrell Fuimaono opening the scoring in just the 4th minute, the backrower scoring his first try in Dragons colours.
The margin did not last long, however, Jack Williams levelling the scores for the Sharks, diving on a deflected kick that took an awful bounce for fullback Matt Dufty.
It was not without controversy, however, with Dufty appearing to ground the ball before Williams. The bunker was quick to adjudicate, with further replays suggesting it was the Dragons fullback who had grounded the football.
With the final margin just four points, the decision ultimately proved costly for St George Illawarra and McGregor was not happy the bunker continues to make errors.
"It was pretty clear right? So how do they keep getting them wrong and who's accountable for it?
"It's a stuff up and in the end that's the difference.
"You guys (the media) should make enough song and dance to do something about it, because it's not good enough."
Despite the controversy, the Dragons quickly rebounded, with Paul Vaughan leading the charge through the middle of the field as the Red V made repeated headway into their opponents half.
The impressive opening 20 was capped by one of the better tries that will be scored this season, a shortside raid followed by multiple offloads, a crossfield kick and a Lomax grubber to himself.
The centre converted the try to hand his side a 14-6 lead 20 minutes into the match.
Like they did a week ago, however, McGregor's side switched off at the midway point of the first half, allowing their opponents to take control of the match.
From the midway point in the half, it was all Sharks, the hosts rolling through the middle of the field with ball in hand and benefiting from four first-half set restarts.
The Dragons struggled to get their hands on the ball and when they did, metres were hard to come by.
Tries in the 23rd, 28th, and 33rd minutes saw the Sharks take a 22-14 half-time lead, with Johnson scoring one and playing a key role in another.
The Dragons were handed a double dose of bad news at the break, both Adam Clune and Trent Merrin ruled out for the match after failing Head Injury Assessments.
The second 40 started as the first finished, St George Illawarra conceding a set restart in the opening set of the half.
The Sharks capitalised on the opportunity, Aaron Woods crashing over from short range to extend the margin to 14.
The momentum remained with Cronulla, Johnson orchestrating the team's attack with aplomb.
The hosts were unable to extend the margin, however, and the Dragons were handed an opportunity to hit back.
Hit back they did, Dufty skipping to the outside of Wade Graham and Chad Townsend before connecting with Lomax for a brilliant flick pass.
The pair were in the thick of the action just four minutes later, the centre steaming onto a Dufty grubber, before producing a miracle flick pass of his own for Ravalawa, who reeled the ball in and crashed over.
Lomax nailed the conversion from the sideline to take the scoreline to 28-24.
Suddenly it was the 'visitors' who had all the running, St George Illawarra threatening to hit the front.
The Dragons had a handful of chances to score a third-straight try, however the Sharks ultimately held firm to claim a thrilling victory.
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