The USA Eagles were left delighted to have claimed only their third win in six World Cup appearances after a tough 13-6 victory over debutants Russia.
The American team had previously only managed two victories, both over Japan, in the 2003 and 1987 editions of the tournament.
But Eddie O'Sullivan's side displayed a set-piece dominance that put paid to a debutant Russian side that was gallant in defence before going down 13-6.
"I'm delighted with the victory. It was a tough game, pretty much as we expected from Russia. We've played them twice in the last year before this and they've been very good games," said former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan.
But, according to O'Sullivan, cold, wet and windy "conditions didn't suit either team. Both teams like to run with the ball, but I think it was who made the most of it".
The US team, which lost their opener 22-10 to Ireland, enjoyed large periods of advantage in terms of territory and possession but could not fully convert them into points in the face of a doughty Russian defence.
Scrumhalf Mike Petri scored the only try of the game, with Eagles fullback Chris Wyles adding a conversion and two penalties in tricky kicking conditions before the Americans held off a late fight-back.
"We dominated the game, our set-piece was much better, our line-out was excellent and our scrum put them under pressure," said O'Sullivan. "But to be fair to Russia we had them under the cosh a number of times but just couldn't shake them off.
"They defended magnificently at times, they scrambled really well. In a one-score game when you have a chance to finish it off, it can come back and bite you at the end and it pretty much turned out that way," he added.
O'Sullivan admitted that the countdown to the final whistle had been nerve-wracking, with the Russians nabbing a late penalty kick through Konstantin Rachkov and almost busting the US defence through replacement Victor Gresev.
"I would have liked to get that bit of daylight to give us a two-score cushion but it didn't happen and that's a credit to Russia," he said.
"But we didn't get frustrated. We were constantly aware that we needed to keep our patience and not get frustrated and I think we did that very well.It was not going to be a night for fingertip rugby, but a night for grinding it out in the trenches. We did that exceptionally well," he said.
Captain Todd Clever, who put in a fine display in the loose, said that all the build-up about a game with reminders of the Cold War era were much ado about nothing.
"It was a World Cup win," the openside flank said. "It doesn't matter who we were playing against. It's just a big reward for something we've been working really hard for.
"I'm just really happy we've got that first World Cup win and long may it continue."
Clever said they had successfully targeted the Russian line-out, with the Americans pinching seven of the Russian throw-ins.
"It was a short week but we did a lot of homework and the lineout leaders did really well. That was a key moment for us tonight," he said.
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