Ulster 22 Edinburgh 19
Ulster overcame Edinburgh 22-19 at the Aviva Stadium to reach the final of the Heineken Cup for the first time since 1999.
Two Ruan Pienaar penalties and a converted Pedrie Wannenburg touchdown saw the Irish team establish a 13-9 half-time lead, with Greg Laidlaw responding for the visitors. Laidlaw reduced the gap to one point early on in the second period, but three more Pienaar three-pointers sealed their passage to the showpiece at Twickenham, despite a late Jim Thompson try. Ulster made a surprise selection at stand-off, picking youngster Paddy Jackson over the more experienced Ian Humphreys. By contrast, Edinburgh restored all the players that were rested for last week's league encounter against the Cardiff Blues to the starting line-up. The Irish province's quarter-final victory over Munster was based around the long-range goal-kicking of Pienaar. Another one of those 50-plus metre penalties saw Ulster into an early lead. However, Laidlaw responded for the Scottish outfit with one of his own. Edinburgh's fly-half then added his second from the tee as they opened up a 6-3 advantage after 12 minutes. It was a frenetic start to an enthralling contest as the hosts replied with the opening try of the match. They had already established a dominant scrum and, from the back of a set-piece, Wannenburg drove over from close range. Back came the visitors with some sustained pressure. After Stefan Terblanche was sin-binned for the home side, the Gunners pressed the try-line. But much like the Scotland national team, they were unable to finish off their opportunities. In fact, it was Ulster who got on the scoreboard next when Pienaar added a penalty. Laidlaw then converted his third three-pointer as Edinburgh deservedly reduced the arrears to four points at half-time. Although the Gunners' fly-half scored another from the tee, it was the Irish province which did most of the second half running. Successive penalties from their half-back was just reward for their dominance, and Pienaar assured their place in the final with a fifth three-pointer. Thompson went over with the last move of the match for the visitors, but it proved to be mere consolation.