CSU were under serious threat of losing just their second game of the New Holland Agriculture Cup season on Saturday and it required a special defensive effort to keep Mudgee Wombats behind at the full-time whistle.
Coach David Conyers praised the defensive work rate of his team in the 24-19 win, believing his men were put under even more pressure than in their narrow round one win over league leaders Narromine Gorillas.
"There wasn't a scrum for probably 20 minutes in the game which shows how much ball control they had. I don't think we've been destroyed like that all year," he said.
"They probably had 200kgs on us in the pack and we just had to tackle. When we'd get the ball we could hardly play because they were putting so much pressure on us.
"We only got into their quarter of the field twice in the half and we were really starved of possession."
If the sapping of possession wasn't enough, the conditions were also wreaking havoc on the students.
"It was bit windy over there so our lineout was off. We lost five lineouts and probably five or six tighthead scrums. We were monstered by them," Conyers said.
"It's the best defensive effort I've seen from the team for long time and we didn't have any reserves in the tight five so thank god we didn't get any injuries."
That stroke of fortune proved crucial for the visitors who had their fitness pushed to the limit.
It played out in a far different fashion from CSU's previous 55-19 hammering of the Wombats in round two.
Conyers said matches like Saturday's are a challenge from which a side benefits from the most.
"It's great to execute well and win well but it's not a real test. There's no pressure on you," he said.
"On Saturday we had an insurmountable amount of pressure on us and we survived it. We had no right to win that game if you look at the statistics.
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"We had about 10 per cent of clean ball so to win with that amount of possession is amazing, really. We had three turnovers and that led to three tries."
While the position was virtually assured before kick-off, the win now ensures CSU will play in the major semi-final this season.
The question is whether they will host it or not.
The latter is looking more likely given Narromine's five-point break at the top of the ladder.
Consistency isn't easy to build up for the students with a disrupted schedule but their depth has improved as the year has gone on.
"University holidays is playing havoc on us," Conyers said.
"We haven't had a good training session now for two weeks so it's a tough time of the year."
CSU travel again this Saturday to play the Dubbo Rhinos.