All Blacks and Crusaders star Dan Carter says that they went to Canberra knowing that they need to beat the brumbies to stay in the hunt for this season's Super Rugby title.
The Crusaders brought the intensity that has been missing so far this season and prevented the Brumbies from getting into the game.
The tournament leading Brumbies scored an intercept try in the early stages of the match and were kept out of it until the Crusaders had put the result beyond doubt with a 17 point lead nine minutes from full time.
After replacement Israel Dagg scored the Crusaders third try they relaxed and allowed the Brumbies to score 10 points and finish the scoring at 23-30.
The victory was the Crusaders first in Canberra in 10 years and only their fourth in 10 matches.
"It's never an easy place to come and play and we really needed this win to keep our chances alive and I'm really proud of the way the boys performed tonight," Carter said.
"We've been going a bit sideways (in attack) this year so we wanted to be a lot more direct and I thought we did that. "
"We ran hard up against a tough and structured opposition defence."
Meanwhile Brumbies coach Jake White admitted that he was relieved that his team salvaged something from the match by securing the losing bonus point at the death.
"It's disappointing in terms of not getting a result but at the end of the day to get a point out of that game when we were dead and buried with 15 minutes to go is probably something to count for us going into the playoffs," White said.
"It wasn't a great performance by us, maybe nine weeks has taken its toll, but that's a quality team and Dan Carter controlled things as he can and there is a reason why they have been the benchmark team of Super Rugby."
The Crusaders and the Brumbies have the bye next weekend and are guaranteed four points.