Kurt Capewell rejects the suggestion Penrith needed a loss to learn a finals lesson but insists he's more confident now than ever they can win the NRL title.
A 16-10 loss to South Sydney last weekend has forced the Panthers onto the hard route to the October 3 decider, needing to get through Parramatta and then minor premiers Melbourne to make the grand final.
Saturday's loss was their first in six weeks and just their fourth for the season but Capewell declared the Panthers were unbeatable at their best.
"If anything we can take more confidence out of it to be honest," he said on Tuesday.
"We were nowhere near our best on the weekend and for the last 10 minutes there it looked like we were coming over the top of them.
"If we can play our best footy I don't think anyone can stop us, so it's made me more confident."
In the days since the qualifying final, the Panthers have thoroughly broken down the six-point loss to find they missed chances to win late.
It's a mistake they don't plan to make against Parramatta on Saturday night as they eye off a preliminary final against the Storm next weekend.
"I don't think we have to change anything, we've been playing pretty good footy for the last two years so I don't think we have to change too much," Capewell said.
"I've known for the last two years we've had the team to do it.
"Unfortunately last year we didn't get that job done on the big day so this week we've got to concentrate on us and playing our finals style of footy."
Fuelling his passion for a premiership is the realisation any game could be his last with his Panthers teammates after the Queensland Origin forward signed a deal to join Brisbane next year.
"It hit me after the game last week, it's sudden death now," he said.
"I'll be taking every chance that I get to play with these boys and I don't see it ending this week.
"Falling short would be a massive disappointment to me, there's only one option this year."
Australian Associated Press