CRONULLA were gallant in their 18-14 extra-time loss in the Auckland Nines final to South Sydney but one of their future stars needs a knee reconstruction.
Talented Fa'amanu Brown faces five months on the sidelines after the 10-4 semi-final win over Sydney Roosters in the Nines.
And while the two-day format of electrifying action was enjoyed by the fans and the players, it's now down to work preparing for the trial games.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said he was encouraged by the squad's effort.
"They kept showing up. I am very proud of them." Flanagan said.
"I thought we showed character all day.
"The way we scrambled and never gave in — there was some real resolve and attitude in that group."
Flanagan's only regret was the injury to Fa'amanu Brown.
The Sharks now get ready for their first trial match against Manly on Saturday afternoon at Pittwater Park, North Narrabeen.
The Dragons did not feature in the quarter-finals of the Nines.
The Dragons tackle 2015 NRL premiers Souths in the annual Charity Shield game on Saturday at ANZ Stadium.