Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese faced off in the second leaders' debate of the federal election campaign on Sunday night, as the May 21 poll edges closer.
With the Prime Minister suffering another hit in the polls and the Labor leader desperate to prove his leadership credentials, both men had plenty on the line as they clashed just hours before pre-polls opened on Monday.
Here were the five key moments from a showdown which proved far more fiery than the first debate in Brisbane.
'Corruption? I haven't seen it'
Mr Albanese says there's a "stench" wafting through Canberra as a consequence of the scandals which have plagued the Morrison government.
But Mr Morrison can't smell it.
Asked directly if he had witnessed any corruption inside the Liberal Party in his time in politics, Mr Morrison said: "No I haven't".
"No wrongdoing in the Liberal Party?" asked panel member and journalist David Crowe. "I haven't seen it," the Prime Minister replied.
As a veteran member of the scandal-tainted NSW Labor Party, Mr Albanese accepted he had witnessed corruption inside his ranks.
But Mr Albanese said it was a "good thing" that the wrongdoing had been exposed by an anti-corruption commission.
Rollout was a race, PM concedes
As with the "I don't hold a hose, mate" line during Black Summer, Mr Morrison's statement that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines wasn't a "race" came back to haunt to haunt him.
The comment was weaponised against him as the rollout stumbled from bad to worse at the start of 2021, leaving millions of Australians unprotected as the Delta strained emerged later in the year.
On Sunday night, in response to a question from Mr Albanese himself, Mr Morrison apologised for the remark.
"It was a race, Anthony, and we shouldn't have described it in those terms," Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said despite the early setbacks every Australian adult was ultimately offered a vaccine by the middle of October - just two weeks out from the original target.
Questions of character
Both leaders were questioned on their character.
Mr Albanese was grilled on his NDIS stumble last week, with the Labor leader's ability to respond under pressure put in question.
Mr Morrison was probed about his overall popularity and whether he was trustworthy.
Comments made from French President Emmanuel Macron, former NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian and Deputy Prime Minister Barnarby Joyce have put Mr Morrison's character under siege.
He attempted to frame the question around the government's handling of the pandemic.
"I can understand the hurt and the feelings that people have had coming out of a time like this and that can lead them to feel bad about their governments," Mr Morrison said.
"What I do say to those Australians is that you've seen what we've achieved together. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates this country has ever seen."
Cost of living help to end
Any hopes that the cost-of-living measures included in the Coalition's pre-election budget would be extended were all but sunk on Sunday night.
Asked directly if the 50 per cent cut to the fuel excise cut would continue beyond September, the two leaders made clear it wouldn't.
"Because what we do when we provide this relief is it's well designed, it's temporary. It's targeted, it's affordable," Mr Morrison said.
Jobs and the economy
Economic management was front and centre as the leaders were quizzed on how the next government would pay down the exorbitant debt incurred during the pandemic.
Mr Morrison said JobKeeper saved workers during the height of the pandemic and stated the economy was in good shape because of the response by the Coalition.
"Our plan has put people into work," Mr Morrison said
Mr Albanese claimed Mr Morrison picked the "low-hanging fruit" which didn't address the reforms needed to improve the nation.
Interest rates were also at the forefront of the debate, with both leaders sledging each other over how they would manage the economy.
Labor's response centred around the need to push up real wages, regurgitating claims the Coalition purposely keeps wages low.
Mr Albanese pinned blame for the recent RBA rate rise on Mr Morrison, but the Prime Minister was quick to dismiss building inflationary pressures on global factors.
"The difference between myself and the current government and Scott Morrison is that we will try to do what we can in measures and structures to improve real wages," he said.
China blow out
A more assertive China in the Indo-Pacific region was also a major focal point of the debate between the two leaders.
While both leaders agreed China's posture in the region had shifted, quarrels were ignited about who would be tougher on the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr Albanese threw the first blow over the recent handling of the Solomon Islands deal and quickly blamed the Coalition for green-lighting the 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to a company with links to the CCP.
"This has been a massive foreign policy failure," Mr Albanese said.
"Some have commented it has been the biggest failure since the Second World War.
"The government said they would have the Pacific step-up. Instead, it is a Pacific stuff-up."
Mr Morrison said previous Labor governments have cut defence spending and claimed there still remains pro-Beijing voices within the Labor party, including deputy leader Richard Marles.
"How will it stand up to China when some of the loudest voices on being pro-Beijing come from your party," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Albanese responded by saying it was an "outrageous slur".