Queanbeyan Blues coach Simon Woolford praised his injury-battered side after it came from behind to beat West Belconnen 30-28 in the top of the table clash on Sunday.
With past Warriors players in the crowd for Old Boys day, West Belconnen looked set to grab outright top spot on the table after racing to a 16-point lead in the first half.
But a brain explosion from West Belconnen fullback Dwayne Ewing, a former Blues player, swung the momentum of the match.
The Warriors had just scored to lead 22-6 and looked set to take that buffer into the break before Ewing offloaded a pass close to his own line with just seconds remaining.
It was swooped on by Blues prop Scott Rutland, who scored the first of his two tries to get his side back into the game.
Rutland scored again early in the second half, but West Belconnen restored its 10-point lead when a chip and chase from halfback Bobby Roberts in his own danger zone created a Ricky Fulivai try.
However late tries to rugby union converts Aaron McInnes and Tom Reudiger ensured the Blues took a giant step toward a top two finish, and a double chance in the finals.
It was sweet revenge for the Blues, who used recent comments from Roberts they ''buy premierships'' as motivation.
They overcame the loss of former Raiders player Marc Herbert early after he copped a knock to the eye in his first game back from a hand injury.
Fullback Adam Misios also went to hospital for scans on a possible jaw injury, while the Blues had no replacements for hooker Zac Woolford in the final minutes when he came off concussed.
While Roberts was one of his side's best, particularly his kicking game, Woolford reminded his players of the comments at training during the week.
"We just proved the culture we have and how we're willing to work for each other,'' Woolford said.
"It's not about having the best players or buying a player, it's having a good culture and finding a way to win.
"That's what we've built over the last couple of years.''
The Warriors have a tough run home in the three weeks left before finals, and skipper Naseri Naseri admitted they had let a golden chance slip.
"We were good for almost 40 minutes [in the first half] and the last 30 seconds it turned around quickly,'' he said.
"It's little mistakes like that which can cost you the game. We are matching teams like the Roos and Blues, we just have to play another level to get them.''
Meanwhile, Queanbeyan Kangaroos leapt to second on the table with an 18-10 road win over fellow top four side Goulburn.
Woden Valley Rams beat Gungahlin 22-18 to register their third win of the year.
CANBERRA RAIDERS CUP
Queanbeyan Kangaroos 18 (Ratu Tagive 2, Bryan Cronan tries; Jordan Macey 3 goals) bt Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 10 (Codie Medway, Matt Worboys tries; Ben Picker goal); Woden Valley Rams 22 (Tim Crome 2, Jordan Martin, George Pohahau tries; Crome 3 goals) bt Gungahlin Bulls 18 (James Ulrick 2, Rourke O'Sullivan tries; Aiden Greenwood 3 goals); Queanbeyan Blues 30 (Scott Rutland 2, Tom Ruediger, Aaron McInnes, Craig Wilkinson tries; Wilkinson 5 goals) bt West Belconnen Warriors 28 (Tim Sloman 2, Ricky Fulivai, Tevita Aroha-Tuinauvui, Isaac Hamad tries; Scott Jones 4 goals).