Jonny Wilkinson scored 14 of Toulon's 19 points as his side took the spoils at the Galway Sportsground, beating Connacht to a place in the Almin Challenge Cup final
After 13 years of trying Wilkinson will finally get the chance to play in a European final after spearheading Toulon's victory.
It was the fourth time the England outside half had reached the semi-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup and he had been beaten in all three previous outings with Newcastle Falcons.
But his 14 first half points - he finally succumbed to a neck injury after 57 minutes - were enough to guide the big spending French side into their first final.
It means in his first season in France Wilkinson is now in line for a league and cup double following Toulon's second placed finish in the Top 14 which has already earned them a semi-final place.
Now Wilkinson can look forward to a date with either old rivals London Wasps, and a certain Danny Cipriani, or Cardiff Blues in Marseille on Sunday, 23 May.
Connacht got a dream start when within 10 seconds of Ian Keatley's hanging kick-off to the Toulon 10 metre line they received the game's first penalty. Up stepped the outside half and over went the 40 metre kick to give the 7,000 fans something to shout about.
But no sooner had they edged ahead than the underdogs were thrust onto the back foot by the French side. With the strong wind at their backs, and a steady stream of possession, they forced John Muldoon's men to make 50 tackles in the first 18 minutes of the game.
In that time Jonny Wilkinson edged his team in front with two perfectly placed penalties, although a drop goal miss at least proved he is human. Keatley's second penalty tied the scores at the end of the first quarter, but then Wilkinson made up for his earlier miss by hitting the target with a 25 metre drop shot.
Toulon may have had the territory and impetus, but had Connacht centre Niva Ta'auso hung onto a wild Wilkinson pass just inside his half the crowd would surely have had a home try to celebrate.
As it was from the scrum that followed the knock-on, home tight-head prop Jamie Hagan was penalised for taking it down and Wilkinson landed his third penalty to make it a potential 10 point turn-around in a matter of minutes.
The power of the Toulon scrum would come back to haunt the home side later in the half, but a minute after the latest Wilkinson success it was Keatley who was on target to bring his side back to within three points.
It stayed that way until the stroke of half-time when Toulon managed to keep the ball in play for more than three minutes, and 18 phases, before winning a penalty deep in the home 22. They opted for the scrum and what followed was an amazing sequence of scrums.
There were seven in all over the next five minutes, with the Connacht front row crumbling under the pressure to concede four penalties.
Eventually the pressure had to tell and in the 49th minute of the first half the centre Mafi Kefu bulldozed through the last remnants of the thin green defensive line to score a try at the posts which Wilkinson improved.
That left the gallant home side, who had been forced to make 96 tackles in the first half compared to Toulon's 37, shattered and with a mountain to climb after the break. Keatley started the second half as he did the first with a long range penalty and that score gave Connacht a real appetite for the fight.
Having been forced to put in another 36 tackles in the face of another determined Toulon charge, they got some possession of their own and made real headway through their pack. Sean Cronin was bundled into touch a few metres short and then Frank Murphy was hauled down near the posts.
All the meaningful pressure was now coming from Connacht, who were hoping to make it third time lucky in their third Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final, but they couldn't convert that pressure into points. New outside half Miah Nikora, whose drop goal had beaten Bourgoin in the quarter-final, was then jut wide from 48 metres s the game moved into the last 10 minutes.
There was plenty of endeavour from the home side, but they ended just short again and will now have to hope that either Leinster or Munster win the Heineken Cup to give them a ticket into that tournament for the first time in their history.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.