7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Saints now step on to the biggest stage of all in the Welsh capital in three weeks' time and Hartley will understandably be a proud man come kick off.
"It's going to be special," said Hartley who received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Brett Sharman late in the second half.
"Today was special and to go to Cardiff will be special, too. Before the game, everyone knew what was up for grabs - it's going to be another big occasion.
"I'm just happy to be going to Cardiff. I've got a great team around me and that makes my job easier. I just play rugby, and when you've got 14 other guys around you doing an awesome job, it's easy, isn't it?
"It's a one-off game and it will be quite nice going into it as underdogs. We're fairly confident. We've got a good group here and we've been building towards something like this. We've worked hard for each other and we're in a cup final with it all to play for.
"The mindset of this team is that, if we turn up, we can beat any team on the day. Recently, our mindset's been right and we've been winning. We know what knockout rugby's all about and this team on its day can win any game. We'll now look forward to the final."
With much having been said about the size and power of the Perpignan pack, it was Northampton who won that particular battle when push came to shove.
The Saints eight were superb throughout, while the front row exerted their dominance late on to seal the win.
Hartley gave an honest assessment of Northampton's success in the dark arts of the game, with the England hooker clearly delighted that an outstanding work ethic had once again paid dividends in a European encounter.
"We'd spoken in the week about getting parity up front. Today we had dominance, didn't we?" added Hartley.
"I think we'd secured about six points from scrum time, but that doesn't come just like that. It took 40 minutes of tiring them out and then 20 minutes into the second half was where we started getting our gains.
"For the first 40 minutes, no one was moving in the scrum. But in the second half we had a few go our away. Whatever penalties or turnovers we gained from scrums came from hard work early on. Our mindset was to be dominant and we achieved that today."