"If we hadn't made it the people would have been in the long grass, there would have been a lot of bullets being fired. But even if we hadn't gotten the outcome I would still have been proud of the progress we are making and the areas of growth we are getting," said Penney.
The New Zealand presence in the quarter-finals is prominent with Quins being top qualifier, with Nick Evans again showing his class as arguably the player of the tournament.
ASM Clermont, under the guidence of Kiwi Vern Cotter, with the likes of Sitiveni Sivivatu and Benson Stanley, are second overall.
Muinster has snuck in at eight spot.
"I really believe in this team and the direction it is going. Once we got into our rhythm, I thought at times we were compelling and we looked very efficient," Penney continued.
"Our mental preparation and ability to stay focused for the whole 80 minutes was something we needed. The relentlessness we were seeking was there.
"We were up against some pretty resilient opposition and the boys delivered a pretty compelling performance at times. We made a couple of errors early on and that was on the back of being a bit anxious and wanting to do well.
"It took us a bit of time to settle into the game, probably longer than we would have liked."
All's well that ends well and, after Simon Zebo had rounded off his hat-trick, Munster knocked-out reigning champions Leinster from the final quarter-final spot and earned the right to travel to Twickenham to face the unbeaten top seeds Harlequins in April. It will be Munster's 14th foray into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, .level with Toulouse
HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER-FINALS
Harlequins, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Toulon and Saracens will have home advantage in the quarter-finals of the 18th tournament on the weekend of 5/6/7 April.
2012/13 HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER-FINAL QUALIFIERS / PAIRINGS
The qualifiers and their rankings for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals are:
2 ASM Clermont Auvergne
5 Ulster Rugby
6 Leicester Tigers
7 Montpellier (Best Pool runner-up)
8 Munster Rugby (Second best Pool runner-up)
The quarter-final matches, to be played on the weekend of 5, 6, 7 April, are:
(1) Harlequins v Munster Rugby (8)
(2) ASM Clermont Auvergne v Montpellier (7)
(3) Toulon v Leicester Tigers (6)
(4) Saracens v Ulster Rugby (5)
The three Heineken Cup pool runners-up who have qualified for the 2012/13 Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals are:
1 Leinster Rugby (Third best Pool runner-up)
2 Toulouse (Fourth best Pool runner-up)
3 Biarritz Olympique (Fifth best Pool runner-up)
HEINEKEN CUP SEMI-FINALS
Either England or Ireland guaranteed to stage a Heineken Cup last-four game following the semi-final draw which was carried out at Welford Road following the completion of the tournament's pool stage.
The winners of the Saracens v Ulster Rugby quarter-final will have home country advantage for their semi-final meeting against the winners of the Toulon-Leicester Tigers tie in the last eight.
Meanwhile, France are guaranteed to stage a semi-final after it emerged that the winners of the ASM Clermont Auvergne v Montpellier quarter-final will also have home country advantage when they take on the victors of the much-anticipated clash of this season's number one seeds, Harlequins, and two-time former champions, Munster Rugby.
(To be played 26 / 27 / 28 April)
The winner of the first named quarter-final in each semi-final pairing will have home country advantage.
Semi-final 1: Saracens or Ulster Rugby v Toulon or Leicester Tigers
Semi-final 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne or Montpellier v Harlequins or Munster Rugby