Leeds coach Brian McDermott spoke of his pride in his team after watching them claim a thrilling 27-20 win over Catalan Dragons in Perpignan.
The Rhinos, aiming to win the title from fifth place for a second successive season, are through to the last four and a potential trip to table-topping Wigan after twice coming from behind to win their preliminary semi-final at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.
"I'm so proud to be in charge of a courageous group of young men prepared to do anything to get the job done," McDermott told Sky Sports.
"It's a fantastic result. Commiserations go to Catalan who have been sensational all year. This is a significant win, coming over here to their backyard."
Leeds were without prop Kylie Leuluai because of suspension and captain Kevin Sinfield paid tribute to his pack for quelling the onslaught from the big Catalan forwards.
"It was a really tough game," he said. "We expected it to be like that. The last two times we've come here we found it really tough and got beat.
"I thought our middle men were really strong for us and set up a great platform."
Defeat brought to an end the tenure of Catalan coach Trent Robinson, who will now return to Australia to take charge of Sydney Roosters, and he bowed out with a swipe at Super League referees.
"I'm really disappointed," he said. "I thought the boys gave it a heap. We've been battling referees all year and tonight I thought our boys deserved better."
Dragons' veteran second rower Steve Menzies paid tribute to the champions' tryscoring ability.
"We just went to sleep twice for a couple of minutes and they scored back-to-back tries," he said. "They're a team that can hurt you from anywhere on the field.
"Those lapses came back to haunt us. We gave ourselves a chance but we needed to be a bit more composed."