Luke Bailey is Trent Merrin's target

Trent Merrin will take the lead in Shellharbour's battle of the giants if the Dragons beat the Titans tomorrow night.Merrin and Titans workhorse Luke Bailey, two of Shellharbour's favourite sons, will go head to head at Skilled Park for the third time in the NRL.Bailey squared the ledger at 1-1 in last year's golden-point win for the Titans at WIN Jubilee Oval, but Merrin is keen to get one up on his childhood hero.

  • Full coverage of the Dragons "His name was always getting around town," Merrin said of Bailey."He was one of my idols growing up as well. To bash heads against him this weekend is going to give me some butterflies in the stomach before the game."The 21-year-old enjoyed an impressive season coming off the bench for the Dragons in 2010.However, coach Wayne Bennett reduced his workload in the finals series, allowing him to play just 37 minutes of football throughout the three games.But Merrin believes he is capable of taking on more responsibility in the team this year."I'm ready to go and I want to achieve more this year and improve my game," he said."Just to get some more match fitness under my belt and play like the guys I idolise in our team like the Michael Weymans and the Dan Hunts."[I want to] take a bit out of their books and play like them."Critics have questioned St George Illawarra's premiership credentials without Jeremy Smith and Neville Costigan, who joined Cronulla and Newcastle respectively.The departure of the dynamic duo will drain the Dragons of plenty of starch and mongrel, but Merrin has backed he and his team-mates to step up and fill the void."Neville and Jez (Jeremy Smith) were the hard men of the team," Merrin said.

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