Gareth Steenson kicked 25 points to guarantee Exeter Chiefs another crack at Heineken Cup rugby next season as they pipped Gloucester 40-39 in an end of season thriller at Sandy Park.
Gloucester, Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finalists this season, had already secured their ticket into the top tier of European club rugby next season, but the Chiefs knew they had to win their final Premiership outing to hold on to their Heineken Cup status.
Going into Round 22 it was down to Bath and the Chiefs for the sixth and final qualifying place and the Chiefs came out on top. Bath were beaten 23-14 at Saracens.
Although Gloucester outscored their hosts by five tries to three, it was Steenson's boot that won the day as he kicked seven penalties and converted two tries. His final kick of the day came in the 79th minute to clinch victory at the death.
It means the six Heineken Cup teams from the Premiership next season will be - Saracens, Leicester Tigers, Harlequins, Northampton Saints, Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs.
The Premiership Play-Off semi-finals this weekend will see Leicester Tigers host reigning champions Harlequins at Welford Road and Heineken Cup semi-finalists Saracens entertain Northampton Saints at Allianz Park.
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.