Panthers prop Trent Merrin.

Panthers can still get a lot better: Merrin

Penrith made the rest of the competition sit up and take notice with their recent demolition of the Dragons but prop Trent Merrin is adamant they are still to reach their peak.

For most of the season the Panthers have not received a great deal of limelight as firstly St George Illawarra and more recently South Sydney have swapped the mantle of being the form side in the Telstra Premiership.

Heading into Friday night's clash with the Roosters, they are joint competition leaders with St George Illawarra - a solitary point behind them on for and against - following a 10-3 start to the year.

Before a ball was kicked in 2018 the Panthers had been written off with rumours of a falling out between players and head coach Anthony Griffin.

Their 28-2 triumph over the Dragons in round 12 silenced any lingering critics and Merrin believes it's only the beginning.

They were below their best but still accounted for the Raiders in Canberra last Friday despite having four players backing up from State of Origin.

And they have also had to put up with the worst injury toll in the competition.

"I think we can [get better from the Dragons game]," Merrin said.

"We can raise the bar from there, too. It's good to see what we're capable of doing when we're all on.

"We've really set a standard now and that's how we'll view it moving forward."

Penrith - who have won four of the last 10 matches against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium -  fancy their chances against the pre-season premiership favourites.

"It starts with us, once we tick those boxes when we go into their backyard it deals with itself," Merrin said.

"We know that it's always tough with road trips away and to beat teams at their home grounds is always a test.

"The Roosters have stars across the park, individual brilliance in the backline and a really good pack.

"But we're a confident side and that's because we're winning."

Panthers back-rower Isaah Yeo said Peter Wallace's sudden retirement had only added to the motivation levels among the players.

"It would be wonderful to do it for him, it was in the back of our mind from the start of the year," Yeo said.

"It was always going to be his last year I think but now we can hopefully do it. If we can be successful and come the end of the year be really proud of our achievements, he'll go a long way with that."