Shortly after Alafoti Faosiliva crossed the goal with Sunday's game-winning try, hundreds of jubilant Samoans rushed onto the Sam Boyd Stadium field.
"I think there are more Samoans here than in Samoa," Samoa coach Stephen Betham said.
Pittsburgh Steelers star Troy Polamalu, wearing a Samoa jersey, tweeted a photo from his press box suite.
The rugby game ended the way Polamalu plays -- aggressive, physical and emotional.
With time having run out, Faosiliva busted through two tackles down the right sideline to reach the goal and beat New Zealand 26-19 to win the USA Sevens tournament.
It was Samoa's second USA Sevens victory in three years, having also dispatched of New Zealand in 2010.
But New Zealand nearly rallied for a stunning victory, coming back from 14 points down to tie the match at 19 with about a minute and a half left.
Samoa refused to be shaken.
"We just (had) to keep playing," said Samoa's Paul Perez, who scored a try at the end of the first half.
Samoa did just that, and Faosiliva -- who also scored the game's first try -- got the ball with two defenders between him and the goal.
They weren't stopping him, and he bowled his way past the goal.
"Tears just rolled down (from) my eyes," Betham said.
Samoa's victory capped a successful tournament. Sunday's crowd was announced at 23,672, giving the three-day tournament a total of 64,107 fans.
This was the final year of a three-year contract, and indications are the tournament will be back.
It wasn't such a successful tournament, however, for the host country.
The U.S. Eagles lost 19-14 to Australia in a Bowl semifinal, the division that decides ninth place in the 16-team tournament. That loss gave the Eagles a 1-4 record this tournament and a 1-9 mark going back to New Zealand a week earlier, where they were shut out three times.
This time, at least, the U.S. made its opponents work for their victories.
U.S. player Matt Hawkins, who also is San Diego State's first-year coach, said he and his teammates were determined to be more aggressive.
"Whoever has the ball wanted to score," Hawkins said. "I think that's what we did do, we just didn't score enough. We came real close a couple of times.
"With a little more experience, I think we'll be able to handle those situations a little better."
There are reasons to believe the improvement shown this weekend -- the U.S. nearly beat an Australian team that had outscored the Eagles by an average of 30-10 -- will translate into something more meaningful.
It's a young team which has been in its full-time training facility in Chula Vista, Calif., for only about a month.
The U.S. next plays in Hong Kong on March 23-25, and that tournament will indicate whether the gains made in Las Vegas are long-lasting.
"We're almost there," Eagles coach Al Caravelli said. "We've got to make sure our players don't lose sight of it, that they keep their confidence high."
The U.S. women's team lost in its final to Canada, 14-5.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.