Penrith's chances of playing finals football will come down to the final round of the Telstra Premiership against Manly on Saturday night – perhaps a narrative of their season to date.
Panthers utility Tyrone Peachey was upbeat on Monday morning about the prospects of beating the Sea Eagles at Lottoland, with the winner cementing their place in the finals.
The loser faces a nervous wait with ninth placed St George Illawarra set to clash with the Bulldogs on Sunday.
Rather than focus on what could have been, Peachey was honest about the situation ahead.
"We're playing for our season," Peachey said on Monday.
"Everyone in the sheds last night was disappointed with how the result went but we have to move forward now.
"We could have solidified ourselves in the finals but we can do that this week if we beat Manly."
The issue of complacency after seven wins on the trot was mentioned, but Peachey denied it was the case with the Panthers no guarantee prior to Sunday's clash.
"It wasn't any different, we were confident we could win but the Dragons come out firing. We're not disappointed with the way we played, it's just the result didn't go our way.
"They were playing for their season it and showed in their performance."
Panthers teammate Josh Mansour insists the side have been playing a sudden death brand of football for months after their poor start to the season.
Despite keeping the Dragons scoreless in the final quarter of the game, Penrith were starved of possession late and failed to execute in limited field position.
"We beat ourselves, the last try by Tariq Sims showed that," Mansour said.
"Poor discipline and soft errors let the Dragons back into the game and we were chasing our tails.
"It was a big day for us and leading into the game I was confident. It would've been nice to finish off the Dragons and be comfortable on the ladder but in saying that we didn't get much opportunity at the beginning of the year."
The Panthers will head to the Northern Beaches confident of victory after seven wins in the last eight starts against Trent Barrett's side since 2013.
Their only loss was a one-point thriller to the Sea Eagles in 2014.
"We've done it in the last couple of years, if we play good I think we're a better team than them," Peachey said.
"They had a good win on the weekend."
Mansour added the Sea Eagles' recent form couldn't give a true indication of what to expect from the side come the weekend.
Manly's escape over the Warriors in the final five minutes and into golden point has ultimately kept their season alive.
"They've been up and down, you don't know what to expect from them. Playing at home in the context of their season it will be a tough game without a doubt," Mansour said.
"It's a must-win situation for us, we don't want to be banking on other results."
Penrith's task could be made tougher with scans set to confirm if fullback Dylan Edwards will miss the clash with a knee injury.
While Peachey was optimistic about his teammates chances, Mansour painted a different picture on whether Edwards would be right to play.
"I saw Dylan this morning in a leg brace so I'm not convinced he will," Mansour said.
"We've got good depth here though with Cup (Intrust Super Premiership) playing well."
The Panthers are expected to confirm scan results on Monday afternoon.