Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney finds positives after tight win

DESPITE needing a late try to snatch a 14-12 win against Samoa in their Four Nations clash, Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said he found some positives in the performance.

A win over England this weekend would guarantee New Zealand a place in the final, and Kearney said the efforts of returning hooker Issac Luke (pictured) and winger Manu Vatuvei had thrown up selection headaches.

"We hung in there with enough courage in the back end of that game to get away with it, so we are thankful for that," Kearney said. "Both Luke and Vatuvei had really strong performances so that gives us a headache for this week."

Kearney said he had also been impressed by the efforts of some of the younger players in the team, particularly forwards Jason Taumalolo and Tohu Harris.

Samoa coach Matt Parish was seething at the performance of New Zealand referee Henry Perenara.