The NRL All Stars have claimed the Arthur Beetson Trophy with a 36-28 win over the Indigenous All Stars in a scintillating clash at Skilled Park on Saturday.
Wayne Bennett's side outscored Laurie Daley's men by six tries to five, in a match played at breakneck speed throughout.
Despite the new season being a month away, both sets of players showed some flashes of brilliance to light up the third annual clash between the two sides on the Gold Coast.
However, an ankle injury to Greg Inglis cast a shadow over the match, with the Queensland and Australia centre limping out of the game 10 minutes from time.
Stirring Aboriginal and English versions of Advance Australia Fair were sung before the game with the Indigenous side then marching up to their opponents as a part of a traditional war dance with spears.
The pre-match ceremony certainly fired up the Indigenous side, with Jharal Yow-Yeh opening the scoring with just six minutes on the clock.
Despite the theme of the week leading up to the match being reconciliation, there was very little being shown on the field as both sides ripped into each other in the opening exchanges.
New Zealand enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was at the thick of the action, trading blows with Sam Thaiday and then fronting up to Nathan Merritt and Ben Barba in another stand-off on the touchline.
The Indigenous outfit doubled their lead on the stroke of quarter-time when Merritt scampered over from close range after Chris Sandow's grubber-kick deflected into the path of his former South Sydney team-mate off Paul Gallen's shin, but shortly after the restart Frank Pritchard reduced the deficit when he bulldozed his way to the line.
Bennett immediately used his first power play to reduce the Indigenous side to 11 men.
However, it proved to be a missed opportunity as the Indigenous side extended their lead, despite their numerical disadvantage when Matt Bowen pounced onto a brilliant Thurston chip-kick to score.
Laurie Daley then invoked his side's powerplay and the NRL side emulated the success of their rivals' success when Luke Lewis darted over for a try.
However, with 10 seconds of the powerplay remaining, Merritt raced over again in the left corner for his second try of the game on the stroke of halftime.
The NRL outfit started the third quarter superbly when Gold Coast skipper Luke Bailey fended off three tackles to score.
Canberra star Josh Dugan then demonstrated superb handling skills to pluck the ball millimetres from the turf after a hand-off from the impressive Cooper Cronk with Benji Marshall's conversion giving his side the lead for the first time.
The final quarter then saw England international Jack Reed stretch the lead with a try in the left corner following smart work from Cronk.
Indigenous skipper Thurston then called for his side's second powerplay and Inglis took advantage of the shortened defence with a try, only to sink back to the ground in visible pain clutching his left ankle.
Chris Sandow's kick closed the gap to 30-28, but Vatuvei sealed the win with a late four-pointer and Marshall added the extras to add some gloss to the scoreline.
Merritt was awarded the Preston Campbell Medal after being named man of the match.