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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Ulster twice led in the second period but Clermont kept their composure to pick up the win they so desperately needed to finish top of Pool 4 by the narrowest of margins.
"We're very happy right now. It was a tough pool and a tough game and they gave us the kind of run we expected to get from them," said Cotter after his team pipped their Irish opponents to pole position courtesy of tries scored in the head-to-head games between the two teams.
"The desire to get into the quarter final got us through. We didn't control things particularly well in the second part of the first half or the last part of the second and that left the gate open for Ulster to take the win.
"But the guys like to be able to adapt to the opposition and we did that, although it took us a long time to actually get our hands on the ball and express ourselves the way we'd like to.
"The guys showed good mental strength to pull through. We had a game here against Toulon three weeks ago and that was similar in that it came down to the wire.
"We all know there's a big difference between winning a game by four points or losing a game by four points."
Replacement hooker Paulo Ti'i claimed the decisive score on the hour-mark as Clermont kept their remarkable home record alive despite trailing 9-6 and 12-9.
Ti'i barged over from close range for the game's only try, while France scrum-half Morgan Parra slotted all five of his kicks at goal in comparison to the five from seven opposite number Ruan Pienaar notched for Ulster.
Clermont haven't lost on home soil since November 2009 but Ulster ran them closer than most and Cotter admitted it was nervy stuff at times for the partisan French crowd.
"I'm getting quite concerned about the unbeaten record because every keeps talking about it! I thought today was going to be the day where it went and we'd have to start the whole thing all over again, but the public really helped us," added Cotter.
"The guys were over excited at the start of the game. We didn't see things as clearly as we should have, we didn't get out of our own half as well as we should have but crowd brought us home at the end.
"We had nearly 18,000 people supporting us and, although we don't know if we'll be playing our quarter at home or away, we know that our supporters will follow us if we do have to go on the road. If we have to go to somewhere like Munster for example, we know there will be a big crew behind us to help us along.
"All credit to Ulster - they're a great team. They're a team that alternates their play very well. They put us under pressure through their driving mauls at lineouts and they've got a good setpiece. Luckily our scrum was good after seeing what they did to Leicester last week and I think that battle evened itself out.
"They're also very fast out wide, they've got some big ball carriers and great loose forwards. Where we found the most trouble was in that they kept attacking, whether that was balls in the air, out wide or up the middle.
"We pride ourselves on our defence, though, and we didn't concede a try and managed to score one and that gave us first place in the pool."