Canberra coach Ricky Stuart admits it was ugly but the Raiders continued their push for a top four spot after downing Wests Tigers 20-12.
The home side won in front of more than 100 old boys celebrating the 30th anniversary of the club's 1989 grand final win against Balmain.
Stuart spoke about the memories of that year leading into the game and while it wasn't a win that sent a premiership statement, they did enough.
If Canberra win three of their remaining seven NRL games they'll almost certainly play in the finals for just the second time in seven years.
"I hope they (old boys) were proud of the effort. It was an ugly win but certainly we scrambled our way to two points tonight," Stuart said.
"We got away on them a little bit in the first half but we probably weren't ruthless enough. We kept inviting them back into the fight.
"The second half we were very ruthless in defence. We didn't have any field position with the footy but it gave us some good education about hanging in games and winning a real tight one."
The Tigers are 13th but still only one win outside the top eight. However, they'll need to start hitting some form soon as they're fighting six teams for eighth spot.
A Tigers' mistake on halfway gifted Canberra the first opportunity on Saturday and five tackles later hooker Josh Hodgson put Dunamis Lui under the posts on three minutes.
A second try arrived inside 10 minutes when Aidan Sezer grubbered into an empty in-goal for Charnze Nicoll Klokstad to pounce.
The visitors had four straight sets on Canberra's line and the defence eventually cracked when Josh Aloaia barged over to score on 18 minutes.
But the Raiders hit straight back as Sezer threw a sensational cut-out pass for Jordan Rapana to score in the corner in front of 15,656 fans at Canberra Stadium.
Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker made it a 14-point buffer and four-from-four off the tee with a penalty goal in the 25th minute to see them lead 20-6.
It was the Tigers who came flying out in the second half and some Benji Marshall magic put David Nofoaluma into score after darting down the short side.
The visitors almost made it a grandstand finish when Luke Brooks broke through and found Paul Momirovski who grubbered for Michael Chee-Kam but Sezer made an unbelievable try-saving tackle.
The scores didn't change again which left Tigers coach Michael Maguire to rue another missed opportunity.
"I'm really annoyed and disappointed where we are at this present moment. We should have been in a way better position in that game," Maguire said.
"There's patches in that game where we're strong and show what we can do, then we just lapse and it comes back to the characters that we have at this present moment and we need to work hard to change it."
Australian Associated Press