South Sydney superstar Greg Inglis says the Rabbitohs must take the pain of Saturday's NRL preliminary final loss and use it to drive them forward into next year.
The Rabbitohs premiership drought has extended to 41 years following the 32-8 defeat by a clinical Bulldogs side.
"It definitely hurts and I think the best thing about this is is we take the feelings we've got now," Inglis said.
"The (qualifying final) loss in Melbourne really hurt and burnt us and we had to get back and we fought our way back.
"But it's obviously the same feeling that we're very disappointed with the way we went and I think it will drive us through the whole pre-season and carry on next year.
Long standing Rabbitohs back Nathan Merritt echoed his sentiments.
"We've got to remember this pain and how much it hurts and take it into next year," Merritt said.
"It feels like being stabbed in the heart, it's heartbreaking and really disappointing for us."
Inglis sad the biggest positive this year was the mental toughness coach Michael Maguire had brought to the side.
"The first day he came in, I think half the boys (went) 'what the hell is this bloke on about'?
"He demanded a lot and the boys just knuckled down and that's the quality of the players we've got within our group."
He said producing an 80-minute performance was the thing Souths needed to do to close the gap on Melbourne, Manly and the Bulldogs.