Panthers second-rower Lewis Brown has set his sights on becoming Penrith's new super sub after the season-ending injury to ball-playing weapon Tyrone Peachey.
The nephew of Sharks great David was enjoying a breakout season until tearing his pectoral muscle in Penrith's Round 18 win over Brisbane where he was filling in for sidelined skipper Peter Wallace.
But after recently recovering from a pectoral injury of his own, Brown is aiming to provide a similar contribution as the former Shark.
"’Peach’ has been a big loss for us. He's really found his feet within this club and he's a talented young fella," Brown told NRL.com on Tuesday.
"I'm probably going to have to pick up a bit of what he left off. We're probably similar in the way we play the game of footy."
Brown admits that he struggled to find his place in the top 17 at the start of the year, with the team's depth providing plenty of competition for spots.
But the six weeks he spent nursing his injury allowed him to familiarise himself with the team's new shape and structure, particularly when it came to Peachey's role as a genuine ball-playing option.
He also hoped his big-game experience would help the Panthers, who currently occupy second spot on the ladder, as the business end of the season approaches.
"It was a bit hard there, missing the six weeks with the pec injury. But I've been back for five weeks now and I reckon the injury did me the world of good," he said.
"I had some time off to build the body a bit and just watching the boys. I'm finding myself in the team now, obviously filling that utility role in the side.
"I feel like I'm coming along OK, but I've just got to make sure I'm taking more of a senior role now and try and bring some of that experience along the way with the big games coming up."
Brown, 27, said the team had learnt some harsh realities in last week's defeat to the Roosters, but was confident that after what has so far been a positive season, they can still find another level in their game, starting with Saturday's match against Cronulla in Bathurst.
"All the boys were pretty disappointed in the way we played [against the Roosters]. It was a pretty big game for us against the reigning premiers, who I believe are the benchmark of the comp. We didn't come up with the goods and they really pulled our pants down," he said.
"But I think we can still find another level. We're playing consistently well as it is. Once we get our full strength side back, it'll be interesting to see how we go.
"Everyone's confident within the playing group that we know what we can do. I'm pretty sure we proved that at the start of the year. The weekend was a little hiccup on our little journey, hopefully we can make up for it this weekend."