It should've been more convincing than it was, but a return to Canberra Stadium has seen the Raiders return to the winner's list.
Holding on to beat St George Illawarra 22-16 on Friday night - having led 22-0.
But the win could come at a massive cost with Sia Soliola and Emre Guler both failing to finish the game.
It comes as the Raiders prepare to face the Melbourne Storm at home next Saturday.
Soliola was taken to hospital with a facial fracture.
He clashed heads with Dragons prop Blake Lawrie and failed his subsequent head injury assessment before heading off for scans.
Guler, who made his run-on debut, also limped off with an ankle injury with Raiders coach unsure how long he would be out for.
With Corey Horsburgh (foot) potentially out for the season, it leaves the Raiders light on in the middle against a big Storm pack, although Dunamis Lui could slot straight in
Young Kai O'Donnell has been named in the 21 several times this season and could also be an option.
Stuart expected Soliola to spend an extended period on the sidelines.
"I don't know about Emre, but Sia is going to be out for a period of time," he said.
"I think it's a lot of middles we're losing at the moment and it's an issue.
"I don't know the exact situation [with Sia, but] it's a fracture around the face area [near the nose]."
There was good news for Raiders second-rower Elliott Whitehead, who reopened a gash on his knee and got a finger in the eye.
He's been in sensational form and was great again against the Dragons.
The Raiders might be losing one top notch England second-rower in John Bateman, but they have have one of the best in the business in Whitehead.
Canberra were all over the Dragons in the first half, but tired in the second with the Dragons getting within a try of sending the game to golden point.
Stuart put it down to the Raiders' exhausting travel schedule - the toughest in the NRL.
He was looking forward to playing some games at home and hoped the NRL would relax protocols so they could start travelling up the day before their away games.
"We were good for a long time. You have to understand how hard the last four to five weeks have been with our travel," Stuart said.
"We're the only team that has to go on a bus for three or so hours, then play a game of football.
"I'm very proud with how the boys have handled it. They had to find a lot of energy tonight in the last 20 minutes.
"We played extra time last week and didn't get home until 2.30am Sunday morning. We had a short turn around.
"For them to back up tonight with all those injuries in the middle on the back end of that game, how would I not be happy.
"I'm not whinging about it because we're very fortunate. What [ARL Commission chairman Peter V'Landys] and his team has done is wonderful.
"The only point I'm raising is that we're a tired group of players."
Stuart run out a revamped line-up - not just on the much-talked-about right edge, but also in the middle.
Not only did he give Guler his run-on debut, but he brought Ryan Sutton to start at lock.
His hard-running finished up with 121m, with Stuart labelling it his best game in lime green.
"What Emre and Sutton produced was exactly what was asked for, it was perfect," Stuart said.
"It was probably Ryan Sutton's best game for us and a young player like Emre doing that for us tonight was a good start."
Josh Papalii came off the Canberra bench to produce his usual metre-eating, finishing the game with 122m.
While there's been troubles on the right, the Raiders' left edge has been ticking along nicely and Nick Cotric seems to have settled in quickly there again.
Playing the Dragons probably helped. He used fullback Matthew Dufty as a speed hump as he barged over to open the scoring - the fourth time in a row he's done that against St George Illawarra.
Things were looking better on the right too. Albeit against a struggling Dragons that was spraying passes all over the pristine Canberra Stadium turf.
You could've been excused for thinking the Illawarra Hawks were in town.
Raiders recruit George Williams' kicking game continues to improve its synchronicity in attack.
He found right wing Bailey Simonsson flying high to double Canberra's lead.
Simonsson came in for the injured Jordan Rapana (calf), while Michael Oldfield came into the centres to replace the out-of-form Curtis Scott.
Oldfield snuffed out a Dragons overlap in a good sign for that side's defence.
Williams found a gaping hole in the middle of the Dragons' line to step his way over for his maiden NRL try and it was 18-0 at half-time.
The Dragons appeared to be working their way into the game, off the back of Ben Hunt's efforts out of dummy half.
But their woeful handling was summed up when Jarrod Croker ended his eight-game try drought - the equal longest of his career.
He charged onto a Jack Wighton grubber, which came after Mikaele Ravalawa dropped a hard-earned goal-line dropout - talk about a coach killer for the under-fire Paul McGregor.
The Dragons finally turned their second-half pressure into points, with Dufty running onto a Corey Norman grubber, then Zac Lomax and Jason Saab combined down the right, and Dufty crossed again to send a scare through Canberra.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA RAIDERS 22 (Nick Cotric, Bailey Simonsson, George Williams, Jarrod Croker tries; Croker 3 goals) bt ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 16 (Matthew Dufty 2, Zac Lomax tries; Lomax 2 goals) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Matt Cecchin.