Munster (10) 16
Tries: Leamy Cons: O'Gara Pens: O'Gara 3
Toulouse (6) 13
Tries: Donguy Cons: Elissalde Pens: Elissalde Drop-goals Elissalde
Munster are now two-time champions of Europe
Munster became kings of Europe for a second time as a ferociously committed display saw them edge past Toulouse in the Heineken Cup final in Cardiff.
Denis Leamy's try and a Ronan O'Gara conversion and penalty put Munster 10-3 up after 35 minutes.
A Jean-Baptiste Elissalde penalty made it 10-6 at half-time before O'Gara edged Munster further ahead.
Toulouse levelled through Yves Donguy's try but a third penalty from O'Gara clinched Munster's second Heineken Cup.
Cardiff was the venue of Munster's first triumph in the competition, back in 2006, and the Millennium Stadium was once again packed with their army of passionate fans.
The two teams had featured in seven of the past nine finals and were owners of four Heineken Cups between them heading into the game.
With such European pedigree on the pitch it was always likely to be a close encounter and so it proved, although Toulouse enjoyed much the better of the opening stages.
They pinned Munster back inside their own half from the first whistle and although France scrum-half Elissalde, playing out of position at fly-half, missed an early penalty he nudged Toulouse into the lead after eight minutes with a snap drop-goal.
The French aristocrats continued to dominate territory but Munster's ferocious defence kept them at arm's length and Elissalde was reduced to attempting another drop-goal, which drifted wide.
Munster had been unable to get out of their own half but as the half hour mark approached they finally established themselves in Toulouse territory.
When they swept the ball wide Doug Howlett's outside break got them on front foot, and after Denis Hurley took it on Denis Leamy tried to reach out from a ruck right on the Toulouse line and dot down.
The Television Match Official ruled he had lost control in the act of touching down but a fired-up Munster pack turned over possession at the scrum and were awarded an attacking scrum of their own.
Paul O'Connell led a series of drives at the Toulouse line and this time Leamy was not to be denied, powering over from close range with help from a couple of his mates to give Munster the lead.
O'Gara converted and added a penalty three minutes later to make it 10-3, but Elissalde landed a long-range penalty of his own right on the stroke of half-time to boost French spirits.
The match was very evenly poised but 10 minutes into the second half - just after Howlett had seen what he thought was a try disallowed for a forward pass - came what looked likely to be a decisive moment.
Toulouse captain Fabien Pelous was harshly sin-binned for illegal use of the boot and O'Gara slotted the resulting penalty to give Munster a seven-point lead.
Paul O'Connell was at the heart of a powerful Munster performance
Trailing by a converted try and a man down Toulouse were on the edge, but Cedric Heymans suddenly came to life to set up a remarkable try.
Catching a deep kick in touch the France international took the throw to himself and then chipped the on-rushing Munster defenders.
The full-back re-gathered the ball, chipped again and, after Yannick Jauzion had kicked through, Donguy won the race to touch down for an extraordinary score.
Elissalde drilled the conversion from wide out between the posts to level the score at 13-13 and tilt the momentum back in the French side's favour.
They began to attack in waves, with Elissalde ruining one incisive attack with a poor kick at the death which Marcus Horan was able to touch down for a 22 with no French attacker within five metres of him.
But Munster held firm and when they went back on the attack just after the hour Pelous, who had just come back onto the pitch, was again penalised, this time for not rolling away in the tackle, and O'Gara kicked Munster back into the lead.
As time began to ebb away the Munster pack took control of possession and they camped out in Toulouse's half, with a Rua Tipoki-inspired attack nearly leading to a second try.
Toulouse struggled to get anywhere near the Munster line and although they managed a last attack with a minute to go Munster turned the ball over and in the process ensured they would become champions of Europe for a second time.
Munster: Hurley; Howlett, Mafi, Tipoki, Dowling; O'Gara, O'Leary; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell (capt), Quinlan, Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: Sheahan, Buckley, M O'Driscoll, Ryan, Stringer, Warwick, Earls.
Toulouse: Heymans; Medard, Kunavore, Jauzion, Donguy; Elissalde, Kelleher; Human, Servat, Perugini, Pelous (capt), Albacete, Bouilhou, Dusautoir, Sowerby.
Replacements: Basualdo, Poux, Millo-Chluski, Nyanga, Fritz, Ahotaeiloa, Lamboley.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)