The British and Irish Lions won a game of brutal intensity 20-8 against the Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after their opponents attempted a softening-up exercise before next Saturday's first Test.
The tourists did not escape unscathed though, as prop Euan Murray and fly-half James Hook both went off injured inside the opening 15 minutes.
Murray suffered a sprained ankle, while a dazed Hook could not continue after being on the receiving end of a crunching tackle.
Centre Gordon D'Arcy and flanker Nathan Hines were also in the wars at various stages, with Port Elizabeth living up to its reputation as a battleground for visiting overseas teams.
The city staged a violence-scarred third Test between the 1974 Lions and South Africa, while England's 1997 tour game against Eastern Province saw back-row forward Tim Rodber sent off.
Lions head coach Ian McGeechan will be relieved to head to Durban tonight with his squad still relatively unscathed in terms of Test team selection.
They ultimately prevailed through wing Ugo Monye's second-half try and a later penalty try, while substitute O'Gara kicked two penalties and two conversions to topple the Kings.
The home side claimed a Jaco van der Westhuyzen penalty and a late Mpho Mbiyozo try, trailing just 6-3 early in the second period.
But the Lions' forwards gained supremacy, and with O'Gara playing a key hand after replacing Hook, the tourists posted a deserved win.