Sharks duo Sosaia Feki and Jayson Bukuya have said the Sharks' Round 14 bye came at the wrong time, with the side having to wait a fortnight to back up their shock 10-4 win over the Roosters the week prior.
Winger Feki was perhaps more selfish in his reasoning after looking to build up further match fitness after missing a month of football due to a lateral ligament tear in his left knee.
After building some much-needed momentum against the Tricolours, Feki said his four weeks spent in rehab was "like a prison" and he can't wait to mark Knights winger Akuila Uate this weekend – the man he debuted against back in 2013.
"The timing [of the bye], for me especially because I just came back, wasn't great. I was able to get my match fitness up but the bye means it's gone back down," Feki said.
"I injured myself during the Pacific Test. I don't really like rehab so it's good to be back. I did it during training, played the Test then found out afterwards that it was injured.
"I was supposed to be out for six to eight weeks. I did nothing in between either, all the boys were training and I was just sitting at home. That's why I was made myself come back heaps early."
Having copped three rest weekends in two months, Bukuya said the Sharks needed to pick up from where they left against the Roosters knowing full well they had lost after their earlier mid-season breaks this year.
Coming up against a desperate Newcastle team, who have lost eight of their past nine games, the Sharks are wary of their lowly opponents.
"I wish we had played another few games before we had the break instead of playing just twice after our first bye. I wish we could've kept playing straight after the [Roosters] win but it wasn't to be so we're going to have to step it up this week," Bukuya told NRL.com.
"All the boys are starting to rip into training and get their combinations together so hopefully we can continue our good form against the Knights.
"I think they are going to come out firing, especially because they have lost their past couple of games so we're going to have to be ready for a big match."
Halfway through his first season back at the club, after spending last year in New Zealand, Bukuya added the Sharks should be faring better than what their positioning on the Telstra Premiership ladder suggests.
"I think we should be doing a lot better than what we are because we have a lost few games there in the dying minutes really which we should have won," Bukuya said. "I don't think we're going that bad but we still have a lot to work on."