South African scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar led 1999 champions Ulster into their first European Cup final in 13 years on Saturday as the Irish downed plucky Edinburgh 22-19 in the semifinals.
Pienaar scored 17 points, with a perfect six out of six kicks, and dictated most of the Irish side's crucial incursions against an Edinburgh team who paid a heavy price for committing 16 handling errors.
Ulster's reward is a May 19 final at Twickenham against either Clermont or defending champions Leinster, who meet in France on Sunday.
Pienaar, who went into the match having scored 54 points in the tournament this season, gave Ulster the lead with a 54-metre penalty in the sixth minute.
But Edinburgh flyhalf Greg Laidlaw, with 82 points going into the semifinal, replied with two confident kicks of his own as the Scots went into a 6-3 lead after 12 minutes.
Ulster then grabbed the only try of the opening half on the 15-minute mark when South African number 8 Pedrie Wannenburg peeled off the back of a scrum to score from five metres with Pienaar adding the extras for 10-6.
Edinburgh, the first Scottish team to play in a European Cup semifinal, refused to buckle, taking the game to the Irish side who felt the pressure when full-back Stefan Terblanche was yellow-carded for a petulant punch.
Cool-headed Pienaar, however, eased the stress with another penalty for a 13-6 lead before Laidlaw deservedly kept the Scots in the tie with his third penalty of the half in injury-time after Ulster lock Stephen Ferris was penalised.
Laidlaw quickly cut the deficit to 13-12 five minutes into the second period, before Pienaar illustrated his international class.
A chip forward immediately put the Scots back under the cosh and they had to hold up lock Dan Tuohy and Wannenburg in quick succession on their try-line to keep the Irish at bay.
But Pienaar was soon slotting over his fourth successful kick for 16-12 which soon became 19-12 with another perfect pot through the uprights.
Edinburgh, dogged by more errors, conceded another penalty in the 75th minute when their scrum buckled under Ulster's superior physicality and Pienaar was again perfect with his sixth successful kick of the tie.
From that point, there was no way back for Edinburgh who had set the tournament alight by stunning four-time champions Toulouse 19-14 in the quarterfinals.
But they did have the consolation of grabbing a last-minute converted try from replacement Jim Thompson.
Pens: Pienaar 5
Pens: Laidlaw 4
Ulster: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Adam D'Arcy.
Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 9 Mike Blair, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 David Denton, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sean Cox, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Steven Turnbull, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Phil Godman, 23 Jim Thompson.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Jerome Garces, Pascal Gauzere (France)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
AFP and rugby365.com
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.