Player profile: Trent Merrin

Returning Dragon Trent Merrin presents plenty of SuperCoach intrigue, but is he worth the investment for Round 1?

Expert Analysis Pre Season

One of the most difficult questions in 2020 is deciding on a starting front-row partner for Brisbane hulk Payne Haas.

One man posing plenty of intrigue is returning Dragon and former SuperCoach gun Trent Merrin.

The fleet-footed 30-year-old spent a year in the English Super League with Leeds Rhinos, but will return to the club that handed him his NRL debut in 2009.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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Merrin starts SuperCoach in 2020 with dual FRF-2RF status, at the tempting price of just $408,000.

From his past exploits, to a mid-career flat spot, to his English venture, there’s plenty to dissect when considering Merrin.

THE SUPERCOACH GUN

It was only a few years back in 2016 that Merrin was the go-to man in SuperCoach, averaging a ridiculous 74PPG. 

In context, this would have placed him a stunning eight points clear of the second ranked front-row option David Klemmer (66.4) in 2019. He would also have been just four points shy of Payne Haas.

In the four seasons prior, he produced averages of: 61, 69, 76 and 70PPG.

This was largely made up of a strong workload, his exceptional offloading ability and the knack for creating attacking stats.

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THE REGRESSION

Merrin’s most recent NRL seasons in 2017-18 with Penrith saw a big drop in SuperCoach output. 

He averaged a respectable 58PPG in 2017, then just 49PPG in 2018.

Notably though, his PPM remained solid, it was the drop in minutes that primarily brought about his downfall.

In 2018 his minutes dropped to just 44MPG, while he maintained an impressive output of 1.12PPM.

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SUPER LEAGUE STINT

Promisingly for those interested, Merrin maintained his work ethic in the UK.

Merrin played 27 games, with 20 at lock, five in the front-row and two in the second-row.

His stats read:

Tackles: 33.4 per game

Hit ups: 15.1 per game

Tackle breaks: 3.2 per game

Offloads: 2.2 per game

Tries: 4

Try-assists: 3

Missed tackles: 2.3 per game

As far as base stats go, he averaged 56.1 per game, which is exceptional.

Due to a lack of information, we had to estimate his average 15 hit-ups as: 10 over 8m (2 points) and five under 8m (1 point)

While attacking stats in the Super League don’t translate well to the NRL, a forward’s motor can have success in the Australian competition.

Unfortunately we weren’t able to find how many minutes he averaged per game.

2020 SUPERCOACH CREDENTIALS

So how does this fare for the upcoming season, and more importantly his SuperCoach output?

Basically, there’s no reason to suggest he can’t continue his impressive points per minute output.

Yes, he’s ageing, but statistically speaking his PPM has been solid in recent seasons.

The issue will be his minutes at the Dragons.

With Jack de Belin’s court case pushed back significantly, Merrin looks a huge chance at winning the starting lock role.

The Perth Nines caused chaos to the Red V roster, but it’s all good news for Merrin’s likely minutes.

Lock contender Korbin Sims has been cleared of a fractured arm, but remains in doubt for the start of the season.

Cameron McInnes, who is expected to shift to the back-row when Issac Luke comes onto the field, suffered an MCL injury and could miss 6-12 weeks.

Obviously there will be a huge watch on Merrin throughout the trial matches.

Merrin is currently priced on an average of just 44 points, so if he can land a 60+ minute role there’s no reason why he can’t figure again in SuperCoach discussions.

SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

One Response to “Player profile: Trent Merrin”

  1. Mate the workload in the middle third at Kograh imo is not in Mez’s favour , Lawrie Vaughn Graham Sims + (Sims also another anomaly as to when an how long korbin takes to heal) all fighting for those middle third minutesnb& at 400k+ he would have play 50+ min just to make 60+ k an that’s not appealing to me (let me say that may be a decent threshold early on in that position) but isn’t anywhere near the increase i would expect from outlaying a decent cash flod for a legitimate risky midpricer.
    I look at McLean 80+ k more a real bolter overlooked by many last season which in some ways was his breakout year for playing big mins in a decent sampling size,
    He went at 60+ ave at 55+ mins for the first 15 weeks an with his steady growth all round with his body confidence in a losing team mind you ,then add his increased team role in leadership as the number 1 prop come 2020 as a real likely hood ,he’s In front of Moose imo because he’s got that true prop body shape to intimidate, possible top 5 frf up to firsr bye period SC points wise.
    His mins an his ppm have all had real time increases from 2017 with 40ish min at long spells hitting data wise around 0.7-1.0 ppm to 2019s leap 55+ mins at 1.0-1.4 ppm .
    An there is much less middle third in house competition for him at the COWS that can hit his quota with the facr he can play massive minutes at an elite polished manner,
    Smokie pod FrF in SC imo..
    Am I overlooking anything..

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