Penrith prepared for their 42-18 State Championship win over the PNG Hunters as if it was another grand final, with coach Garth Brennan admitting the side could have prepared better ahead of their loss to the Northern Pride in the corresponding fixture in 2014.
Penrith exploded out of the box on Sunday's NRL Grand Final curtain raiser, taking a 38-2 lead to half time and coasting to a State Championship despite PNG hitting back in the second half.
It is another feather in the cap for the highly-rated Brennan, who has been linked to several senior NRL coaching roles following a season in which South Sydney, Canterbury and Gold Coast all parted ways with head coaches at the back end of the season.
"I haven't spoken to anyone at this point, no," Brennan said when asked if he was currently in the frame for an NRL role.
"It'd be nice. I don't focus on it, I don't dwell on it, it's something I can't control.
"What I can control is preparing my teams the best way I can to get the results and if I do that and we have results then the rest looks after itself."
Brennan – who remains under contract at the Panthers for next year – said Sunday's win was particularly satisfying given the tender age of most of his squad.
"It's really satisfying because they're a young side and they're a real development side so to come through and win it on the big day like today, I'm really happy for them," he said.
"The average age is 20 so for those young guys to come through and do it on the big stage, I'm really proud of them.
"It's sweet because we missed out in 2014 on this day, we probably didn't take the concept well enough. It was the first year in and we treated it more like an exhibition match than what it really was and I hear all the talk about the Queensland Cup being the stronger competition and they won the Queensland residents this year so it's nice to get one back over them.
"It's a fantastic concept, it's a hard one to prepare for because you have a grand final then you have to say 'there's another one next week' – it is a hard concept to prepare for but it's really satisfying when you get it done on the day."
The 2014 State Championship loss left a bitter feeling that took the gloss off the previous week's grand final win over Newcastle.
"It was like you were runners up, it took away everything from the week before," he said.
"I didn't want to have that same feeling this year so we really prepared well for this week, we had a drink and celebrated last weekend but we stopped Sunday night and were back into work on Monday.
"That's what I'm really proud of, they sacrificed [celebrating] last weekend and they focused on getting this job done today."
This article first appeared on NRL.com.