Ulster became the fourth winners of the Heineken Cup the hard way – accounting for the cream of the French clubs along the way to finally turn Lansdowne Road into one big Irish party.
 
Toulouse, the 1996 cup winners, had been beaten twice and reigning French champions Stade Francais were semi-final victims before Colomiers were over-powered on the greatest day in Ulster rugby history.
 
Full back Simon Mason hoisted his points tally for the tournament to 144 with an impeccable display of six penalty goals out of six attempts, fly half and captain David Humphreys weighing in with a second half drop goal as Ulster never waivered in their conviction of becoming European champions.
 
Colomiers did score first with a Laurent Labit penalty goal but once Mason began doing the business he does best – accumulating points – there was always going to be Ulster's colours on the solid-silver trophy.
 
Mason, who contributed a lot more than those six successful kicks, was among half a dozen who could easily have won the Man-of-the-Match that went to midfield tower of strength Jonathan Bell.

MPU – Report – English