Welcome relief: Ecstatic Sharks players celebrate a victory for the ages.

Welcome relief: Ecstatic Sharks players celebrate a victory for the ages. Photo: Getty Images

Cronulla players say they were motivated by being ranked 50:1 outsiders before last night's epic against Sydney Roosters, not by the sacking of their playmaker and departure of their coach.

Some bookmakers had the Sharks at 100:1 when they trailed the premiers 24-6 at half time, only to score a scarcely believable 30-28 win at Allianz Stadium.

Losing coach Trent Robinson reckoned it was a fundamental lack of understanding of a footballer's mentality to assume Cronulla would struggle because Todd Carney had been sacked and Peter Sharp had quit.

Try time: Jacob Gagan dives over to score in the corner.

Try time: Jacob Gagan dives over to score in the corner. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Captain Wade Graham said: "I think we put it to bed pretty early in the week. We got together on Monday and we had our say and by Tuesday morning it was over.

"All the players got together and we said, ‘We're not going to let it be a distraction, we're just going to get out there and do our job.

"Over the last 18 months we've got pretty good at putting distractions to the side. Last week was no different."I've seen some odds in the paper. We were 50:1 or something. It was ridiculous. No one gave us a hope.

"The funny thing about rugby league players, most of them tend to have a bit of attitude. If you write them off, they like to step up to the mark and say 'I told you so'."

Careaker coach James Shepherd reminded his charges at half-time of the magnitude of the previous week's comeback from 22-0 down against Brisbane."They were in the same position; last week was a fantastic performance, again, led by the players," Shepherd said. "We did mention it ... It might have triggered a bit of thought in their head, that they believed they could still win."

Robinson said the Sharks' feat – bettering their best comeback eight days after setting the record – should not surprise people.

"I don't think you can underestimate footballers and what they have to go through," Robinson said.

"That's what they do – they're footy players. There's a lot of other stuff that they do but you get back to basic instincts with playing tough footy.

"They did what they did last week. They fought hard. That's sometimes what these weeks do to teams."

Asked if he owed Roosters half Mitchell Pearce a beer for throwing him an intercept pass, Graham said: "I'll might buy him a couple but I don't know if he's been on the drink since his last incident."