A brave and gusty performance by Alan Gaffney's men wasn't enough to overcome a bullish and talented Toulouse side that had too much firepower for Munster to contain.
Munster controlled most of the period, with Ronan O'Gara pinning Toulouse in their own half with his boot. In the process, he managed two drop goals and a penalty to give his side an early lead. However, Toulouse kept themselves in touch, with a penalty from Yann Delaigue, to see the half-time score 3-9.
After the break, Toulouse were an entirely different entity. O'Gara and Elissalde exchanged penalties early on, but then Toulouse closed O'Gara and his Munster pack down. They began to release quick ball from the breakdown, which created several overlaps, and several try opportunities.
The Munster defence held strong for long periods until, in the 72nd minute, Toulouse's outstanding half-back Frederic Michalak finally penetrated the Munster line. Elissalde converted and Munster were left chasing the game.
For the rest of the match, which included nine minutes of injury time, Toulouse kept Munster pinned back in their own half, giving them no opportunity to counter. O'Gara almost clinched yet another dramatic win with two drop goal attempts late in injury time, but this time it was simply just not to be.
Minute x Minute Action:
0 mins Munster s Ronan O Gara takes the kick off.
1 mins: Munster s first line out Frankie Sheahan finds Paul O Connell at the back of the lineout, O Gara s kick is slightly too strong, and is caught by Clement Poitrenaud, and Ntamack clears.
3 mins: Munster forwards drive to the Toulouse 22.
5 mins: Munster held up and Toulouse win the ball, Poitrenaud clears.
6 mins: Munster win their third straight line out, quick ball to Mullins in midfield, and Toulouse caught offside. Ronan O Gara kicks the penalty goal from a metre inside his own half, it had the distance, but it misses to the left.
7 mins: A game of tactical chess as both sides kick for territory, O Gara.
8 mins: Toulouse s first potent attack, Sheahan loses the ball in contact, and the make yards into the Munster 22. Toulouse earn a lineout 9m away from the Munster line.
9 mins: David Gerard wins the lineout, but Munster defend brilliantly, Sheahan steals the ball.
11 mins: O'Gara chooses not to kick to goal with a penalty, but kicks to touch. Sheahan throw is good, O'Callaghan catches the ball, and a rolling maul is formed, Munster attacking inside the redzone.
14mins: Mullins takes the pass, several phases of attack, Munster driven back, O Gara scores the drop goal from the 22m line. TOULOUSE 0 MUNSTER 3.
16 min: O Gara wins yards with a great kick to touch from his own 22.
18 mins: Munster on top. The game is being played in the Toulouse half. Yannick Bru penalised for not staying on their feet. O Gara s kick is 22 m, 15m in fro the touchline, and is good. TOULOUSE 0 MUNSTER 6.
20 mins: Yannick Bru makes good yards into the Munster half, but good defence forces the error, and O Gara kicks to touch.
22 mins: Frantic fast paced game, Munster are organised in defence as Toulouse start to cause problems.
24 mins: Tactical kicking from both sides, but it is O Gara who is dominating with a series of outstanding kicks that are slowing the pace of the game and keeping Toulouse pinned back.
26 mins: Toulouse with a free flowing move involving Ntamack and Michalak and they had a 5-2 overlap, but a poor pass in the middle causes a mistake, and Munster escape.
28 mins: Toulouse have a lineout inside the Munster 22, Gerard wins the ball, he powers forward and Munster penalised for playing the ball on the ground.
30 mins Yann Delaigue kicks the goal from 25m, but it fades wide.
32 mins: Munster's line out working perfectly.
33 mins: Toulouse penalised for closing the gap at the lineout. O'Gara's kick looked good, but at the last minute it fades to the right.
34 mins: O'Gara pins Toulouse back with a 60m kick to touch, Toulouse move the ball wide, playing rugby in their own 22.
35 mins: Toulouse scrum on their 22 following a knock on, nervy play from Michalak, his kicks goes straight to touch. Sheahan finds O'Connell, O Gara's kick is gathered by Ntamack.
37 mins: Toulouse lineout, Delaigue with a good angled run, passes to Collazo who loses the ball in the tackle.
39 mins: Toulouse penalised for hands in the ruck. O'Gara kicks to touch. Munster win the lineout, but they fail to make any ground.
40 mins: Toulouse counter, but the game is stopped because Marcus Horan is injured.
40+2 mins: Toulouse attack inside the Munster 22 following a lineout, but they are coming up against a red wall, Clerc tackles the ball to within 10mof the try line but Toulouse are penalised for a forward pass, and they come away with nothing.
40+5 mins: Peter Stringer makes a mistake at the base of a scrum, from the resulting confusion, Munster penalised. Delaigue's kick is from the right hand side and is good. TOULOUSE 3 MUNSTER 6
HALF TIME: TOULOUSE 3 MUNSTER 6
40 mins: Delaigue starts the second half.
41 mins: Labit with a strong run into Munster territory, but the attack breaks down and O'Gara kicks, Ntamack takes the mark inside the 22.
42 mins: Quinlan and Sheaham combine on the left, Mullins clears the ball from the ruck and O'Gara scores a great drop goal. TOULOUSE 3 MUNSTER 9
44 mins: Staunton knocks on, but from the scrum, Michalak's kick is poor, and Munster have the lineout.
45 mins: Munster forwards drive to the half way line, O'Gara's kick goes straight to touch, and Toulouse have the lineout.
46 mins: Munster win the lineout, the forwards shuffle inwards, errors starting to happen, as Munster lose the ball carelessly
47 mins; The sides exchange kicks, but Staunton clears to touch
48 mins: Trevor Brannan knocks on. O Gara kicks to within 10m if the Toulouse line.
50 mins: O'Connell wins the ball at the line-out, but he is penalised by the referee.
53 mins: Toulouse spin the ball wide. Jean Baptiste Ellisalde replaces Delaigue, Michalak moves to outside half.
54 mins: Toulouse having their best spell of the game, moving up the 22, Garbajosa put the chip through, but Jim Williams races to collect the ball touches down, it's a 22 drop out.
56 mins: Labit is leading the charge, Toulouse attacking ferociously, Munster franticly defend, but infringe at a ruck, and Ellisalde's penalty kick is good. TOULOUSE 6 MUNSTER 9
59 mins: Gerald penalised for offside following a strong charge from John Hayes.
60mins: O'Gara scores a 40m penalty goal TOULOUSE 6 MUNSTER 12
62 mins: The Munster fans lift the roof in the Stadium with their singing.
64 mins: Ellisalde breaks in to the Munster 22 he is tackled by Quinlan, good offload to Pelous, Toulouse controlling the ball, inside the redzone, Munster stop them 5m short, but the referee pulls the play back for an earlier infringement.
65 mins; Toulouse opt for the catch and drive, Brennan drives on - the video ref is called in after Garbajosa attacks the line, but Stringer makes the tackle.
66 mins: Ed Morrison rules that Garbajosa spilled the ball, Munster scrum V
70 mins: Henderson gives away passion with a loose pass. Bru s lineout is good, and Toulouse move the ball wide, into the Munster 22. Munster penalised for not releasing the ball.
71 mins: They decide to run it, they run the ball deep into the 22. Scrum to Toulouse.
72 mins: Heavy pressure by Toulouse 5m short, they recycle,
74 mins: Michalak scores the try in the corner. Ellisalde scores the conversion TOULOUSE 13 MUNSTER 12
76 mins: Staunton's kick is poor, Munster looking nervous, and Toulouse have a lineout.
78 mins: Munster pinned by excellent kicking from Michalak
80+2 mins: O'Gara earns field position, Toulouse have a lineout on their own 22, but Michalak clears magnificently - they lose the lineout.
80+4 mins: Munster unable to play any flowing rugby, O'Gara's kicks is too long - it's the third poor kick in the final five minutes, and it's another 22 drop out.
80+7 mins: Munster scrum on the half way line. O'Gara's long drop goal attempt fades to the left. 22 drop out.
80+8 mins: Munster attack O'Gara' attempts another long drop goal fades to the right.
80+9 mins: The referee blows his whistle and it's Toulouse who progress to the Heineken cup final 2003.
FINAL SCORE TOULOUSE 13 MUNSTER 12