Italian rugby was celebrating arguably its greatest moment in 14 seasons of Heineken Cup history after their champions Benetton Treviso beat the French champions Perpignan 9-8 in their opening game in Pool 1.
After a run of eight successive defeats in the tournament, Treviso finally proved they are a force to be reckoned with as three penalties from the 35-year-old South African-born outside half Marius Goosen carried them to victory.
Team manager Franco Properzi, the former Italian World Cup prop and Milan and Treviso Heineken Cup stalwart, was full of praise for his team and claimed the victory "the greatest in our Heineken Cup history."
Praise indeed from a man who helped Milan beat Leinster 33-32 in 1997 and Treviso do the double over Pontypridd in 1998, beat Harlequins at The Stoop in 1999 and then beat London Wasps 32-17 at home in 2001.
"It was a great day for Treviso in the Heineken Cup and a significant day for Italian rugby," said Properzi.
"We've had some good results in the past, but in this game we beat the French champions - we've never done that before.
"It was a very hard game and it was made all the more difficult in the beginning because of the wet weather. That helped our scrum and pick and drive, but once the sun came out it allowed Perpignan to throw the ball about.
"It has got to be the greatest win we've ever had in the Heineken Cup and it breaks the sequence of eight successive defeats in the tournament that we had suffered in the past two seasons."
The Italian teams have found it very hard to compete with the top teams in Europe in recent seasons and prior to this game their two representatives had only been able to muster two victories in 48 games in the tournament.
"Now we have to go to Munster in the next round, which won't be easy. They are one of the top teams in Europe and we know we are going to be the underdogs despite this victory," said Properzi.
"We will have to scrum as well as we did against Perpignan when we go to Ireland and we will have to hope that Cornelius Van Zyl can be as dominant in the line-out as he was today.
"It was a great feeling when the final whistle went and the crowd went mad. They supported us superbly throughout the game and gave us great help."
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.