He’s the NRL big name signed on big money, but Trent Merrin has yet to bring his big game.
The NSW State of Origin and Kangaroos star believes he has yet to reach the levels at his new club Penrith that controversially drew him away from St George Illawarra over the summer.
“I’m getting there, most definitely,” Merrin said on Thursday.
The 26-year-old was trumpeted as a major signing over last season, a key piece to Panthers supremo Phil Gould’s puzzle that would help transform Penrith from NRL lightweights to heavyweights.
But with the mountain men sitting 10th on the ladder almost a third of the way through the season, Merrin concedes he’s still trying to find his feet at the new digs.
“It’s tough coming to a new club and trying to adjust and getting the rhythm of things,” he said.
“But I’ve adjusted really quick. It’s been great having these sort of players around me to feed off.
“I think I’ve scored more tries in the first opening rounds than what I’ve ever done – so that’s a positive.”
Merrin is content with his current output, averaging 140 metres from 15 runs, together with 25 tackles, in 58 minutes a game.
But it’s still a far cry from when he would easily clock 80 minutes at the peak of his powers.
“I feel like I’m doing my job for the team – that’s the main thing,” he said.
“I just wanted to lead by example in the middle and come to a new club and do the best I can.”
The Panthers meet the third-placed Sharks, who Merrin believes have yet to be really tested through the opening matches of the season.
“I don’t think a team’s really challenged Cronulla like that and put them into a really grinding game … our main focus is just excelling in what we’ve been doing the last few weeks,” he said.