Trent Merrin's evolution as a rugby league marathon man is helping Dragons teammate Michael Weyman make an impact on his comeback from injury.
The 23-year-old NSW representative played 62 minutes after coming off the bench in demanding temperatures in Melbourne, as he builds towards becoming one of the few tight forwards capable of playing an entire game.
At the same time Weyman is trying to put behind him three years of injury troubles, most recently a knee reconstruction that kept him out of the St George Illawarra line-up for most of 2012.
The Dragons are optimistic Weyman can recapture some of the form that made him a State of Origin battering ram for NSW in 2009 and 2010, aided by Merrin's stamina.
"It gives them the chance to roll in and roll out," Merrin told the Mercury.
"Once they have that bit of a spell they can come back on and put some more punch into, which then makes my job easier, rolling off the back of Weyman and Leeson [Ah Mau].
"It's always good running off the back of them, especially when they're full of juice and can get the quick play the ball.
"I'm not an 80-minute player, it's going to take me a few steps to get there, but I'm going to do everything I can to do it."
Weyman played 31 minutes in a much-needed run back in the NRL, where his most valuable contribution was 22 tackles in the 30-10 loss to the Storm.
Ah Mau and Matt Prior, however, led the way for the Dragons, both punching out more than 100 metres carrying the football.
Since being exposed to State of Origin, Merrin has seen Sharks captain Paul Gallen as a playing role model.
"It's something I've been trying to work on for the past few years now, my match fitness," he said.
"I look at Paul Gallen and guys like that and they're tough people, it's something that you take on."
Meanwhile, St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust declined to discuss the prospect of the club chasing Canberra star Josh Dugan, who fronts the Raiders board today after a weekend drinking binge and failing to turn up to training on Tuesday.
Doust also would not be drawn on whether the Dragons have any interest in Canterbury second-rower Frank Pritchard.
"The Dragons are always interested in quality players, though at this stage it is not in anyone's best interest to make specific remarks about other external players in relation to any further recruitment," he said.