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Dylan Edwards' improvement began in Storm horror

Dylan Edwards' first meeting with Melbourne last March could've broken a lesser man.

But instead, it acted as the catalyst for the Penrith fullback's run to Sunday night's Grand Final as one of their most improved players of 2020.

In an absolute horror show in Bathurst, Edwards put down six balls as the Panthers were pumped 32-2 by the Storm on a wet and greasy night.

One was a fumble from a grubber that led to a try, while another came when he put down a Cameron Munster kick and Brodie Croft capitalised and scored.

Munster also got him with a one-on-one steal, while there was a simple error in a tackle and another as he tried to chase down a James Maloney kick to score.

"It's up there among the most difficult games I've had," Edwards told AAP. "I haven't had a night like it before, that's for sure. It was difficult."

Typical to his on-field resilience, Edwards have never tried to run away from that match.

He fronted up to reporters within days, and again took questions on it this week ahead of the most important match of his life at ANZ Stadium.

"It was hard," he admitted. "But you just had to get up there and own it and take responsibility for it."

However, by his own admission, his confidence was rattled.

"I didn't rebound well at all," he said. "The next week I played poorly again and the week after that.

"It was compounding, each week I would lose a bit more confidence. It was hard."

Within a fortnight, Edwards was back in reserve grade. Which is where the run to this year's form began.

"When I got dropped back to Cup, I realised it was time to build that foundation and really start again," Edwards said. "It sounds cliche, I just had to get back to basics.

"Whatever I had done well in the game to get me to that point."

Within three weeks Edwards was man of the match in a win over the previously undefeated Mounties, and was soon back in the Panthers' NRL team.

He then returned to his best in first grade, as Penrith found form in the middle of the season and he regularly bust tackles and topped 200 running metres.

Then in a different role in attack this year, he has thrived under Trent Barrett and Ivan Cleary's structure with Penrith winning every game he's played acting as an extra playmaker.

Crucially too he's been rock solid at the back, as one of just three regular fullbacks across the NRL to average less than one error per game.

"It's a complete opposite year (for the team)," Edwards said. "I don't know what to put it down to, we've just come together really well."