There was a try apiece - speed merchant Vincent Clerc collecting his seventh of the tournament for Toulouse early on and Pascal Bomati setting up a grandstand finish with Perpignan's with time ticking away - with the boot of Yann Delaigue the deciding factor as the Toulouse fly half contributed 17 points.
A year on and there were four tries for a packed Twickenham to savour - LONDON WASPS getting three of them through Robert Howley, Stuart Abbott and Mark Van Gisbergen - with Delaigue scoring in successive finals with Toulouse's try and two penalty goals. Joe Worsley won the Heineken Man-of-the-Match award for spearheading some heroic Wasps defence with van Gisbergen ending up with 17 points in a truly memorable final.
Wasps became the seventh club to win the silverware when they beat defending champions Toulouse 27-20 in that Twickenham thriller that was widely hailed as the best of the 11 finals in the history of the tournament. With extra time looming at 20-20, an 11th hour opportunist try by scrum half Howley settled the cut-and-thrust contest that had enthralled the 73,057-strong crowd. It was rugby of the highest quality heavily laced with real drama. Wasps had earned their first final appearance by beating Munster 37-32 in a Dublin semi-final - and another match that seemed to have everything - while Toulouse triumphed 19-11 in the all-French contest with Biarritz Olympique in a packed Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux.
Wasps' victory denied Toulouse the honour of being the first club to win the Heineken Cup crown three times - albeit only delaying that honour for another 12 months - the French giants having become only the second team to win the title twice when they added the 2003 title to their 1996 crown.
That TOULOUSE triple saw all the points came from the boot, the combined talents of Frédéric Michalak and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde out-gunning David Skrela as the 10th anniversary season of European club rugby's premier tournament turned into a triumph for coach Guy Noves - who has guided Toulouse to that unique treble in 1996, 2003 and 2005 - and captain Fabien Pelous. The tense final in Edinburgh failed to produce a try even though extra time was needed to separate the great rivals with Toulouse centre Yannick Jauzion taking the Heineken Man-of the Match award in front of a crowd of 51,326 as Toulouse finally got home 18-12.
The decision of Biarritz Olympique taking their "home" quarter-final against Munster across the border to San Sebastian meant Spain became the eighth country to stage Heineken Cup action while another new tournament venue was the Walkers Stadium as Leicester Tigers took their semi-final against Toulouse the short trip across the city.
ERC 15 (1995 - 2010)
A microsite dedicated to celebrating the 1st 15 years of European Club Rugby