Australia overcame a case of the third-quarter wobbles to post a 10-point victory over Ireland in Saturday night's International Rules clash in Perth.
In front of a sellout crowd of 38,262, the AFL's cream of the crop were on track for an easy victory after opening up a 41-8 advantage early in the third quarter.
But a goal to Ireland's Darren Hughes - the first of the match - brought Ireland roaring back into the contest, with the visitors slamming through five consecutive overs to reduce the margin to just 13 points late in the term.
reland kept pushing in the final quarter, and an own goal to Sydney defender Nick Smith gave the visitors a late lifeline.
But a brave save from Australian goalkeeper Dustin Fletcher in the final minute sealed the 0.17.5 (56) to 2.9.7 (46) win.
Ireland pumped an all-Indigenous Australian side by a combined 101 points in last year's two-Test series.
But with only past or present All-Australians considered for selection this time around, the home side's rampant opening half was enough to get them over the line.
Australia's win gave it victory in the one-Test series, with the ledger now tied at 9-9.
Geelong ace Steve Johnson was crucial early and finished with four overs from 24 possessions, while Nick Riewoldt (three overs), Chad Wingard (three overs), Sam Mitchell, Leigh Montagna and Jarrad McVeigh also starred.
But it was Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge who shone above everyone, with the veteran midfielder winning the Jim Stynes medal as the best Australian player.
Ruckman Nic Naitanui struggled to get into the game as a forward, but the 201cm jumping machine won every ruck tap he contested and tackled with frightening ferocity.