USA captain Dave Hodges was full of praise for his players despite them ending the World Cup with a 41-14 defeat to France.
Hodges was impressed by France's pedigree
The Eagles looked second best in the opening 40 minutes but impressed during the second half, only losing it 15-14.
And Hodges said: "We came out fairly well in the second half and I'm
just proud of the effort the guys put in through the last 80 minutes.
"I suppose France were sitting back a little but it's only natural when you are up a little bit."
Mike Hercus had another impressive display at fly-half, scoring a try and two conversions, while flanker Kort Schubert scored the Eagles' other try.
France ran in a total of five tries, with Hodges' rival captain Yannick Bru and Jean-Baptiste Poux getting one apiece and Brian Liebenberg a hat-trick.
And Hodges tipped the French, who had been sporting a second-string side, for greater things in the tournament.
He said: "France are a class act and I think they'll go very far in the tournament. I think they are very skillful and they play with a lot of pace.
"I reckon, the way they're playing right now, and that was their second team playing the same way, I reckon they can go all the way to the final."