The Black and Whites had arguably been the best side throughout this pulsating encounter, but the kangaroos again had just too much for their opponents to get their Tri-Nations account up and running.
However, the Green and Gold kept themselves in the game with some solid defence and eventually took a 6-4 lead with a touch down from Greg Inglis converted by Jonathon Thurston.
Iosia Soliola got the Kiwis back in front after the half time interval, putting his side 8-6 up, before a Thurston penalty goal drew the two sides level.
But Soliola touched down for a second time to give the Black and Whites a 14-8 advantage; and when Stacey Jones potted a drop goal for the visitors it looked as though the result had been settled.
But the Kangaroos would not lie down: Inglis brought them straight back into contention with a powerful run down the left wing, fending off two Kiwi defenders and touching down beneath the posts and Thurston tagged on the extras to bring them within one point.
And, seemingly out of nowhere, Gasnier sliced through the defensive line to steal the game from under the New Zealanders’ collective nose.
Hunt, King, Gasnier (T), Hodges, Inglis (2T), Lockyer, Thurston (4G), Mason, Smith, Civoniceva, Ryan, Hindmarsh, O'Donnell.
Subs O'Meley, Berrigan, Tupou, Kite
Webb, Hape (T), Soliola (2T), Matai, Vatuvei, Vagana, Jones (G, DG), Wiki, Halatau, Asotasi, Kidwell, Puletua, Mannering.
Subs Ropati, Cayless, Blair, Fa'alogo