Amlin Challenge Cup finalists RC Toulon saw their hopes of Top 14 glory ended in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon.
Jonny Wilkinson and co suffered semi-final heartache at the hands of ASM Clermont Auvergne in an extra-time thriller in Saint Etienne.
The two sides finished level at 22-22 after an entertaining 80 minutes before a Julien Malzieu try and six points from Brock James ended RC Toulon's chances of a European and French double.
RCT led 9-6 at the break thanks to a trio of penalties from Wilkinson but France scrum-half Morgan Parra levelled the scores early in the second period and then edged Clermont six points ahead with two more successful kicks at goal.
England's World Cup winning hero narrowed the gap to three going into the final quarter but a try from replacement prop Davit Zirakashvili looked to have secured glory for Clermont with 10 minutes left to play.
But RC Toulon hit back with 75 minutes on the clock thanks to a stunning team try that started close to RCT's own line and .was eventually finished by Sonny Bill Williams.
Wilkinson added the conversion before kicking another penalty with just two minutes remaining to take the game into a nerve-wracking extra 20 minutes.
James gave Clermont a 25-22 advantage at the end of the first period and the Australian fly-half slotted a stunning 55-metre drop goal before Malzieu's converted try stretched the gap to 13 points.
RC Toulon refused to give up, however, and Fabien Cibray gathered his own chip ahead to give Philippe Saint Andre's men hope with just a few minutes remaining. But that was as close as RCT got to a second comeback and they will now have to focus on fulfilling their European dream to end the season with silverware.
Clermont will now face 2003 Heineken Cup runners up Perpignan at the Stade de France on May 29, a week after RC Toulon take on Cardiff Blues in the showpiece event of this year's Amlin Challenge Cup in Marseilles.
The Top 14 Final is a repeat of last season's climax, when Perpigan inflicted Clermont's third successive final defeat.