In the 89th minute of their golden point clash against the Warriors on Saturday, Penrith let Shaun Johnson and an ideal opportunity to move up the ladder slip right by them.
The 20-16 golden point loss to the Warriors – following a spectacular Johnson try in the final minute of additional time – cost the Panthers a chance to go two points clear in eighth place on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder, instead leaving them locked in a four-way battle with the Titans, Warriors and Tigers on 22 points.
Penrith centre Tyrone Peachey told NRL.com that they had viewed the match in Auckland as a chance to distance themselves from the chasing pack, and pick up a valuable win in one of their toughest road trips of the season.
"It's disappointing, it's tough to come over here and play in New Zealand and to lose like that… all the boys are disappointed," Peachey said.
"I don't know what it was, but we didn't play good enough and the Warriors were too good for us on the night.
"We always knew we could come back (after trailing 10-2 at half-time and 16-8 with 15 minutes to go), because we have been doing that all year.
"I don't know what it is, but I think if we started better and stopped a couple of their soft tries, which we should have, then it would have been a different game.
"Those tries are the ones we need to stop and have been all year for us.
"I hope the result won't hurt our momentum or confidence, we are just going to have to worry about it next week, listen to the coach and deal with it when it comes around."
In the lead-up to the Round 21 clash many had suggested the match was almost worth double points, given that Penrith sat 8th and the Warriors 9th on the ladder, with a potential finals spot well in sight as both teams approach the run home.
Panthers captain Matt Moylan said his side had fallen away from their game plan which had worked for most of the year, and called for a tidier effort when they host the Roosters up next on Monday night.
"Both sides obviously were desperate for a win, it was an important game for both sides for their season," Moylan said.
"I was pretty confident in the way we were going that we would be able to put a bit of pressure on them, but we turned over too much ball and it ended up costing us.
"[We got back into the match by] just getting back to the way we wanted to play, playing direct and being pretty aggressive with the ball and showing up for each other in defence."
Penrith finished the match having made 13 errors, with a completion rate of just 71 per cent.
With 30 missed tackles on the night the Panthers are now the NRL's second-worst team in that category, ahead of only the last-placed Knights.