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The Sharks endured a tough afternoon, but Kade Dykes' successful return from a long-term knee injury was a bright spot in a 44-18 trial loss to the Knights on Saturday.

Having missed all of last season due to an ACL issue, the fullback played around 50 minutes, tallied 10 runs for 62 metres and shook off a couple of big hits at Gosford's Industree Group Stadium.

"It was good to get a hit out. Obviously hot conditions, so the boys were blowing. Not the result we wanted, but we'll look to next week," Dykes told Sharks Media after his first game in almost 18 months.

"(My knee) was sweet. No dramas, so it was good."

The gifted 22-year-old, who impressed in his two NRL matches so far in 2022, looked threatening at stages in the first half as he chimed in behind young halves Niwhai Puru and Daniel Atkinson.

"I haven't played with Niwhai and Atko before," Dykes said.

"It was our first time together as a spine, so we were just trying to get that connection. We'll be sweet."

While the scoreline wasn't flattering, Dykes insisted a host of emerging Sharks would benefit from the experience ahead of Friday's trial against the Bulldogs. Coach Craig Fitzgibbon is expected to name many of his senior players for the final Pre-Season Challenge fixture.

"A few of the young boys got a first crack at an NRL trial," Dykes said.

"It was good to see a lot of them stood up."

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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