At the end of a nail biting evening that saw the composition of the top four places in the Magners League table change hands on numerous occasions, the line-up for the 2010/11 semi-finals was eventually confirmed.
Top seeds Munster will welcome reigning champions, the fourth-placed Ospreys, to Thomond Park on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, second and third seeds Leinster and Ulster are set to go head-to-head in an all-Irish semi-final at the RDS on Friday.
Appropriately, both Munster and Leinster have won all their home games this season – the only two teams in the league to have done so – and their positions in the table have secured them home advantage in the play-offs.
For three of the four semi-finalists this is their second experience of the knockout phase of the competition.
Newcomers Ulster will be hoping to go on to lift the trophy they last held in 2005. should either Munster or Leinster go on to claim the title it would be for a third occasion, equalling the record of current holders, the Ospreys.
There is all to play for over the coming weekend, the efforts the players have put in over the previous 22 rounds have given their teams the best possible chance to reach the final.
It is now down to a crucial 80 minutes of knockout rugby on Friday or Saturday to secure that appearance. May the best teams win.
MAGNERS LEAGUE – SEMI-FINAL FIXTURES:
Friday, May 13 –
LEINSTER (2nd) v ULSTER (3rd), the RDS, 7.05pm (live TG4/BBC 2 Northern Ireland)
Saturday, May 14 –
MUNSTER (1st) v OSPREYS (4th), Thomond Park, 6.30pm (live RTE 2/S4C)