South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer hailed Bryan Habana after the winger equalled Jonah Lomu's all-time record tally of 15 World Cup tries.
Habana plundered a hat-trick as the Springboks routed the United States 64-0 at the Olympic Stadium -- a victory that guaranteed their progress to the quarter-finals as Pool B winners.
Flanker Fancois Louw scored two, while centres Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel, hooker Bismarck du Plessis, wing Lwazi Mvovo and a penalty try also reflected a one-sided contest.
"Bryan has always played well and is always a guy who comes through in big games," said Meyer.
"The last two weeks he's been at his best. I'm so proud of him, not just as a rugby player but as a human being as well. I'm so glad he's on form, we're going to need him."
Meyer admitted initially failing to notice the 32-year-old's feat, adding: "I was so focused and stressed on the game. He probably doesn't have the speed [any more] but he's still got attributes: brilliant in the head and knows how to sniff out tries."
Fly-half Handre Pollard kicked four conversions and replacement Morne Steyn three as South Africa punished a US side that made 12 changes in preparation for Sunday's Japan match.
De Allende and a penalty try were all the Springboks had to show for a first half that ended 14-0, but they cut loose straight after the break, scoring three tries in 12 minutes.
Habana splashed down, Du Plessis powered over and Louw was pushed across the whitewash for his first.
Habana darted through to go one behind All Black great Lomu's 16-year mark and almost instantly equalled it, seizing on a loose ball to dive over in the corner.
Louw was driven over for his second before Kriel and and Mvovo capitalised on a flagging American side to extend the scoreline.