Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill has offered his support to the Blues after their dramatic 7-6 penalty shoot out win at the Millennium Stadium.
Cockerill and his side won the most gripping semi-final in the tournament's 14th year history, and snatched the win thanks to Jordan Crane's converted spot kick after Martyn Williams' effort had gone wide. Cockerill said "We have a lot of sympathy for Dai Young and his Cardiff Blues. They've had a great season and this is a horrible way to lose a big game like this."
But he hailed his team's "spirit and fight" after securing a place in their fifth Heineken Cup Final.
The Tigers edged past Cardiff Blues in an historic sudden-death extra-time at the Millennium Stadium after seeing a 26-12 lead blown away in the final six minutes of normal time.
Cockerill said: "We played some very good stuff and with eight minutes remaining we were leading by 14 points but the two yellow cards were crucial.
"We defended well without those guys but that extra effort took a lot of energy out of us for Cardiff's two tries. Fair play to them for coming back and to Blair for landing the two conversions.
"They were definitely in the ascendancy going into extra time but the spirit and fight in our team was fantastic. The players must take credit for that.
"They could have capitulated after those two late tries but they hung in their during a pretty brutal extra time."
Leicester will be the first British team to play in five European finals, though made it after denying Cardiff Blues their first for 13 years in the competition's first every penalty shoot-out.
Cockerill said: "We're satisfied with going through but it's not a nice way to win. It's a bit disappointing to win a game by penalty kicks but we will take this.
"It's great to be involved in a game like this, it was a great advert for the competition.
"We have a lot of sympathy for Dai Young and his Cardiff Blues. They've had a great season and this is a horrible way to lose a big game like this."
Leicester now face Leinster at Edinburgh's Murrayfield on May 23, a first final for the Irish province.
Cockerill added: "Leinster are obviously a good side because they're in the final. They will think we're lucky to be in the final and perhaps we are.
"People didn't expect Leicester and Leinster to be in the final but I thought we both deserved our wins."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.