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Penrith forward Lewis Brown hopes the pain of the preliminary final loss spurs the Panthers on to bigger things in 2015.

It was the type of try-saving effort that would've sat alongside Scott Sattler's famed chasedown of a flying Todd Byrne in Penrith's 2003 triumph, but the end result was far, far different. 

Panthers forward Lewis Brown pulled off one of the best tackles in recent memory when he kept a flying Sam Perrett a blade of grass away from what was an almost certain four-pointer in the first half of Penrith’s preliminary final loss to the Bulldogs.

And while it failed to inspire his team onto claiming the final spot in the 2014 grand final, Brown simply described the act as a mere product of Penrith's renaissance as a club this season. 

"I had to make up for a little error I made earlier from dummy half. I had to get one back for the boys," he told 

"And I guess that kind of sums up the team this year. We all put our bodies on the line for each other. There was no excuse not to do that when Sammy Perrett went through."

A resurgent Penrith side drank from the cup of success for 28 weeks of the NRL season, which is about 28 weeks longer than most pundits had expected them to back in March. 

And while a preliminary final finish could undoubtedly be described as a bittersweet end to a promising season, a dejected Brown insisted there was nothing sweet about it. 

"I don't think it's sweet at all. It's pretty bitter to be honest," he said. 

"The people that say, 'You made it this far, good on you', they're the ones that didn't believe in us from the start. We had a belief in this room that we could go all the way."

Brown, who was part of a Warriors side that fell to Manly in the 2011 decider, hoped the pain of coming within a converted try of a grand final spot would last well into the summer for many of his younger team-mates. 

"A lot of people were saying we're the fairytale story of the NRL, but we had belief within our four walls," he said. 

"I hadn't been on the end of a losing preliminary final before. My last one I went in I was at the Warriors and we upset the Storm.

"This feeling that the young guys have now, they need to hold onto it. Come pre-season, they need to build on it because it's not a nice feeling. 

"For me, it's pretty tough. You don't get to be in this position very often and to lose like we did, especially after the season we had, it's a bit tough to take. But we've put a benchmark in place now and we're looking forward to 2015."

The 27-year-old said the team had now become a side that the people of Penrith could be proud of. 

"You know, one thing about us, other than that we play for each other, is that we're also about having a community that's proud of their local team," he said. 

"I really think we've instilled that back into the community this year. Our membership has gone through the roof. Everyone's treated Penrith like the ugly little sister, but we're a community that are proud of each other. We'll get bigger and better from here."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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