Mixed Media: Trent Merrin
A fired-up Trent Merrin was ecstatic to be back in the team and amongst the post-game celebrations following the win over the Raiders on Sunday.
After missing a month of action with a knee injury, Merrin made his return to the side and was able to pull out his signature dance moves as the Panthers celebrated a memorable seventh-straight victory.
"Every time we get a victory I love to get in the middle and hype the boys up," Merrin said.
"It's been five weeks (since dancing to a win) so I was fresh and ready to go.
"I get too excited and want to get amongst it and go berserk.
"The boys love it, I love it and the fans love it so why not?"
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Victory on Sunday was extra significant for the Panthers as they returned to the scene of their heartbreaking loss in last year's finals campaign that spelled the end of their season.
"(It was) very exciting. It's always great to go to Canberra and beat them at home," Merrin said.
"It's always a tough game there. Especially with what they did to us last year in the semis.
"It's something that we held on to and to get the job done the way we did, it was very exciting."
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After slipping to a two and seven record to start the year, Merrin admitted that doubt started to creep in to their minds as the prospect of missing out on finals football dawned upon them.
"You always get a bit of doubt. Especially with the way that we were going," Merrin said.
"But there was always belief. We just had to knuckle down and work on a few areas that we've been doing and it's been paying off the last few weeks.
"It's something that we'll continue to do - build that consistency – and head towards the back end of the year."
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After seven straight victories, the Panthers could potentially require winning a dozen straight to lift the Premiership trophy, prompting questions of whether they could do with a loss before the finals to bring them back down to earth. However, Merrin shot down any suggestions of letting their foot off the pedal.
"We've had enough of our losses throughout the year, so we'll try do our job week in, week out. That's our main focus," Merrin said.
"We’re not looking too far ahead. We've got the Dragons next so that's our next job."