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Shaun Kenny-Dowall came to New Zealand’s rescue with a late try as the 2008 world champions scraped past Four Nations outsiders Samoa 14-12.

The Samoans fell just short against England last weekend and they showed that was no one-off with another strong showing in Whangarei.

Tautau Moga’s interception try gave Samoa an early lead and the Pacific Islanders went into half-time 8-6 to the good after Daniel Vidot cancelled out Kieran Foran’s converted effort.

Joey Leilua swatted Kenny-Dowall aside to touch down and stretch Samoa’s advantage just after the break but the New Zealand winger had the last word.

Jason Nightingale’s try set up a grandstand finish and Kenny-Dowall went over five minutes from time to deny Samoa a famous victory.