Congratulations to Munster, Llanelli Scarlets and Edinburgh Rugby, the latter the first Scottish side to make the last eight. But in the immediate future the Celtic League is set to resume with a bang on Friday night with a mouth watering clash between the top two sides at Ravenhill (kick-off 7.30pm).
Former leaders Ulster will be seeking to return to the top of the table having been overtaken in the last round of league matches at the beginning of the New Year by Friday's visitors Llanelli Scarlets, who will fly the Welsh flag in Europe come those April quarter-finals.
The Scarlets' 28-15 home win over the Ospreys, combined with Ulster's 32-30 defeat at Donnybrook against Leinster Lions, was enough to put the Welshmen on top. But the Scarlets will know they face a tough task in Belfast having experienced both defeat and victory in the Celtic League at Ravenhill. In fact, Gareth Jenkins' men are the only Welsh team to have won at the home of Ulster rugby in nine visits - and that was only by a point, 27-26, on 28 August, 2001.
Ravenhill has been turned into a Celtic League fortress by Andy Ward's side with his team suffering only two defeats and a draw in 14 games to date. Llanelli's triumph three years ago, thanks to a touchline conversion from Stephen Jones, was the first defeat and Edinburgh's 19-18 victory on 6 September, 2002 was the last. Ulster have averaged more than 7,000 fans in their home games and all the indications are that Ravenhill will be buzzing and brimful once again on Friday night after a successful home campaign in the Heineken Cup that included that amazing 31-0 drubbing of Leicester Tigers.
There will also be a fascinating duel at Rodney Parade where third plays fourth in another crucial clash. The Dragons have been one of the surprise packages in the Celtic League this season and will be putting their unbeaten home record in the league on the line against Leinster Lions in a game that will be broadcast live on BBC Wales and TG4 (kick-off 7.05pm).
With a dramatic increase in crowds during their Heineken Cup campaign, which saw The Dragons beat both Celtic Cup holders Ulster and French champions Stade Francais at home, a season's high is expected for a game which will see the debut of former Springbok skipper Bobby Skinstad.
The South African back row forward signed a contract until the end of the season last week and is likely to be given his first chance to shine against the Lions. Another southern hemisphere star who is poised to make his Celtic League debut next week is former wallaby World Cup winner Matt Cockbain. The Aussie lock legend has joined Cardiff Blues on a short-term contract and is likely to play in the Welsh side's away trip to high flying Edinburgh Rugby on Friday night (kick-off 7.30pm).
The Ospreys, who have ended a 10-match losing run with their weekend victory over Leeds Tykes, host Glasgow Rugby at The Gnoll on Friday night (kick-off 7.15pm). Before beating Leeds their last win had been over Edinburgh Rugby at The Gnoll on 17 October, 2003, 42-17.
They will be seeking to make it a Scottish double when they greet Glasgow, although one familiar face who will be missing. Wales and Lions legend Scott Gibbs has decided to hang-up his boots after an illustrious career and will not figure in any more matches for the Ospreys. Rising Wales forward star Jonathan Thomas has taken over the captaincy of the Ospreys, who have also introduced the former Bath and Wales back row forward Andy Lloyd into their side this month after his recovery from a back injury.
The Celtic Warriors, conquerors of English champions London Wasps and Heineken Cup runners-up Perpignan in their European campaign, will host Connacht in Saturday's televised match on S4c at The Brewery Field (kick-off 5.30pm).
The final game sees reigning champions Munster - who have qualified for the Heineken Cup knock-out stages for a phenomenal sixth successive season - host The Borders at Cork's Musgrave Park on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).
Meanwhile, back on 2 January, the Leinster Lions v Ulster game provided the Celtic League with its first pan-UK TV broadcast of the season, on British Eurosport, while the Christmas crowds were exceptional.
The six holiday fixtures saw a record 34,079 fans turn out whilst the near sell-out crowd of 10,197 at Stradey Park for the game between Llanelli Scarlets and the Neath-Swansea Ospreys was an all-time high for the new look tournament.
The average attendance at the six holiday fixtures was 5,680, which is a significant improvement on the previous high of 5,154 for a round of Pool matches back in 2001 which actually included seven not six fixtures.
It is vital that the clubs build on their European ventures in order that those crowds are retained because this is an exciting, and testing, time for all three Celtic nations with league games running throughout the Six Nations championship period.
So while the Celts are well and truly in the European mix - in addition to Munster, Llanelli Scarlets and Edinburgh Rugby clinching Heineken Cup quarter-final places Connacht have won through to the semi-finals of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup - now the spotlight switches to the red-hot chase for Celtic League glory.