Tag Archives: half

Wasps 24 Northampton 26: Christian Day scores late winner

Wasps 24 Northampton 26: Day breaks hosts' hearts with last-gasp winner

By
Ian Stafford

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 23 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:11 GMT, 23 March 2013

Northampton 's pack dominated their Wasps counterparts to such an extent in this battle for the play-offs that three Wasps forwards were sent to the sin bin.

But it took Christian Day's finalplay try to steal victory. Stephen Myler still needed to land the simple conversion to confirm the win but Day's score – assisted by returning England star Dylan Hartley, who shoved his team-mate over the line – also earned a bonus point that could prove crucial.

Wasps, seconds away from a remarkable win considering they played with one man down for nearly half an hour and were crushed up front, now find themselves seven points adrift of fourth-placed Northampton.

Lee 'n' easy: Lee Dickinson scores the Saints' second try

Lee 'n' easy: Lee Dickinson scores the Saints' second try

Day's final score summed up a
physical clash between two teams featuring a host of players who either
lost for England last week in Cardiff or who are pushing hard for a
place in the June tour to Argentina.

Day's try resulted from a driving maul as the Wasps forwards spent much of the game going backwards and conceding penalties.

Saints would have been kicking themselves if they had lost, which they nearly did thanks to a second-half comeback from Wasps.

Losing director of rugby Dai Young
said: 'Fair play to Northampton, they had a real weapon in their maul
and they used it. It's hard to play against them with 15 men and even
harder with 14 for much of the game, especially when you don't get the
field position or the ball.

Heading for glory: Elliot Daly (right) of London Wasps scores his team's second try

Heading for glory: Elliot Daly (right) of London Wasps scores his team's second try

'That said, having got our noses in
front, I take issue with the last three penalties awarded to them,
although I'm not saying Saints didn't deserve to win. The bottom line is
that if you can't stop a driving line out you'll struggle.'

Northampton director of rugby Jim
Mallinder was more relieved than happy, saying: 'If you have a weapon
like that, then you use it. We controlled the game but Wasps can score
points quickly.

'We gave away some penalties and almost threw it away. But we got a bonus point win and are now in a good position.'

Snow stopping me: George Pisi evades Daly's tackle

Snow stopping me: George Pisi evades Daly's tackle

The portents were clear from as early
as the eighth minute, when referee David Rose awarded Saints a penalty
try and sent Thomas Rhys Thomas to the bin.

Eight minutes later, Lee Dickson
flopped over after another powerful maul. Wasps hit back through a
long-range Elliott Daly penalty and then a classic Tom Varndell try,
sprinting in from 50 yards to score his 12th of the season and his 72nd
Premiership try in total. Varndell is now only four behind record scorer
Mark Cueto.

Snow joke: Daly lefty dejected after Saints stole the win at the death

Snow joke: Daly lefty dejected after Saints stole the win at the death

A conversion and two penalties from
Stephen Jones meant the home side were only three points down at the
break, despite a Hartley try from yet another destructive maul.

This built into a five-point
advantage after another Jones penalty and a stunning finish from Daly in
the corner which will surely not go unnoticed by the England selectors.

But after Ashley Johnson received his
team's third yellow card, Day ended a period of sustained Northampton
pressure by snatching the game at the death.

Six Nations 2013: Tom Croft and Joe Launchbury named in England XV for Wales game

Launchbury passed fit and Croft returns for England's Grand Slam decider with Wales

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

10:16 GMT, 14 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:12 GMT, 14 March 2013

England today named key forward Joe Launchbury to start against Wales on Saturday despite the lock sustaining an elbow injury last Sunday against Italy.

The inform Wasps lock has had treatment all week on an elbow injury raising concern that he would miss out on England’s attempt at winning a first Grand Slam 2003.

But Launchbury was given the all-clear
this morning for a Cardiff showdown which will see England field a team
showing four changes to the one which started out in the disappointing
18-11 win over Italy.

Scroll down for video

Back in action: Tom Croft is set to start for England for the first time since breaking his neck

Back in action: Tom Croft is set to start for England for the first time since breaking his neck

As predicted by Sportsmail, fly half
Owen Farrell, scrum-half Ben Youngs and flanker Tom Croft all return
while prop Joe Marler has won the vote ahead of Mako Vunipola at loose
head.

The four players who miss out – fly
half Toby Flood, scrum-half Danny Care, flanker James Haskell and
Vunipola – are all included on the England bench.

England's head coach coach Stuart
Lancaster said: ‘We want to finish well on what will be a fantastic
occasion in Cardiff. It will be a great experience for our English team.

'Every single player, whether they are
in the 23 or not this Saturday, has contributed to getting us in this
position and they should be proud of that.

'The support of the country has been great throughout the tournament and I am sure they will be right behind us come 5-o-clock.'

He added: 'Tom's extra lineout
presence will hopefully give us an advantage. He is clearly a quality
player and he has had a great impact since he has come back into the
team.

Ready for battle: Croft will try and help England win the Grand Slam

Ready for battle: Croft will try and help England win the Grand Slam

Ready to go: Launchbury has been passed fit to face Wales

Ready to go: Launchbury has been passed fit to face Wales

England team

'I see it as an 80-minute game. James Haskell's impact coming off the bench will serve us better.'

Lancaster took the same approach to his decision to start with Marler and use Mako Vunipola as a high-impact replacement.

“Both props will play a big contribution. We believe Joe will give us the solidity in the scrum and then as the game wears on Mako will come on and do his thing.”

Although Flood kicked all of England's points against Italy and did little wrong, Farrell has reclaimed the fly-half jersey after shaking the thigh injury he sustained against France.

The Saracens fly-half did not enjoy his best day against Les Bleus but he will bring control and defensive ferocity which England will need in the cauldron of the Millennium Stadium.

“Clearly Wales will target that area and they will be coming down that channel and I am sure Owen will be ready for some work. We have got a big challenge coming our way but we will be ready for it,' Lancaster said.

Farrell and Youngs managed the game expertly against Ireland in Dublin earlier in the tournament and Lancaster will want them to replicate that performance.

England are chasing their first Grand Slam in a decade but Saturday's clash is a genuine title decider, with Wales capable of retaining their crown.

Inside Line: Season 3, Episode 9

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Lancaster is yet to lose an away game in the Six Nations and he believes those experiences and the memory of beating New Zealand at home in December will stand his men in good stead.

'When you look at this Welsh side, there are not many weaknesses,' Lancaster said.

'It will take an outstanding effort but we have done it before, we have been to away games and won. We have played the best side in the world at home and won.

'We have to deal with the occasion and play with composure and accuracy. There is a quiet self-belief.'

Capital One Cup final: Bradford City will turn down Europa League

Bradford could TURN DOWN Europa League if they win the Capital One Cup

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

09:15 GMT, 23 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:37 GMT, 23 February 2013

Bradford will refuse to play in the Europa League next season should they qualify by beating Swansea in the Capital One Cup final, according to Bantams co-chairman Mark Lawn.

Phil Parkinson's npower League Two side will on Sunday become the first fourth-tier team to contest a League Cup final in more than half a century when they take on Michael Laudrup's Swans at Wembley.

Snub: Bradford will turn down the chance to play in Europe if they win on Sunday

Snub: Bradford will turn down the chance to play in Europe if they win on Sunday

But Lawn has revealed the west Yorkshire outfit will turn down the opportunity to compete in Europe next term if doing so would cost the club money.

Quoted in The Sun, he said: 'I'm not going to pay to play in Europe.

'When we beat Villa (in the semi-final), I was told, “You don't really want to get into Europe – it costs you money in the early rounds”.

'I said, “Well, that'll be fun because if it costs us money, we won't be there”.

Money talks: Joint chairman Mark Lawn will not jeopardise the club's finances

Money talks: Joint chairman Mark Lawn will not jeopardise the club's finances

'Realistically, it's not going to be a problem because I don't think we're going to win against Swansea.'

He added: 'I won't put us in fiscal danger to play in Europe. That's not going to happen. I'm deadly serious.

'It's all very well saying there are financial rewards once you get to the group stage.

'But we're a fourth division club – realistically, we're not going to get there.'

Aston Villa v West Ham live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v West Ham – as it happens from Villa Park

for their last triumph on the road.

Villa will be desperate for three points in their bid to escape the clutches of the bottom three but they will also be keen to avoid a repeat of their clash with the east London side from earlier in the season when Sam Allardyce's side recorded a 1-0 win at Upton Park to start the 2012/13 campaign.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

45+2min: Carroll has lacked service so far, despite West Ham winning a number of free-kicks, and his frustration in the first 45 minutes is summed up by one wild left foot swing from 25 yards that flies well off target.

45+1min: There will be four minutes added on.

44min: The first booking of the afternoon goes to West Ham's Emmanuel Pogatetz after the defender chops down Charles N'Zogbia to bring an immediate half to an Aston Villa counter attack.

42min: After a spell of West Ham pressure, Villa are once more looking the more likely to score. But as we approach half-time, all the goalmouth action has taken place inside the first 120 seconds.

39min: I thought it would be West Ham who would be closer to scoring from set-pieces but Villa nearly score from one of their own. A corner to the near post finds Ron Vlaar, whose half-volley on to the greasy surface bounces a yard over the bar.

37min: Terrific defending from Clark. West Ham do well to find Demel in space on the right, and his low cross is destined for an unmarked Joe Cole in the centre before the Villa defender gets a vital touch on the slide to intercept and allow Guzan to gather.

35min: The last five minutes have seen West Ham come back into this game, but despite winning a couple of free-kicks, the Villa defence has coped comfortably with Guzan keen to come off his line to punch clear any aerial bombardment.

32min: Another sign of the threat Carroll possesses as the striker wins a header inside the Villa box from a cross. The striker is off balance though and his effort loops comfortably into Guzan's arms.

30min: A rare charge forward from West Ham, and it comes form a neat passing exchange on the ground too as Matty Taylor releases Mohamed Diame down the left wing into the penalty box.

From there though it very quickly falls apart as the midfielder blasts a low cross into the near post side netting. Huge waste.

27min: Villa are starting to gain more control in this game but every time they get near the West Ham box there are a wall of bodies denying them a shot on goal. The Hammers are struggling to get out of their own half.

24min: With O'Brien's day done, Guy Demel has come on for the Hammers.

23min: This is turning into a war of attrition. Joey O'Brien has limped off the pitch for West Ham while Tomkins takes an accidental boot to the face from Delph after making a superb sliding tackle on the touchline. The West Ham medical team are making sure he still has all of his teeth after that one.

20min: The game has stopped momentarily as Baker receives more attention as blood starts to seep out of his Vaseline covered head following that earlier clash with Carroll.

Meanwhile the home fans as usual applaud in unison in the 19th minute to observe club captain, Stiliyan Petrov's battle against illness.

18min: Good footwork from Fabian Delph sees him dodge a couple of challenges in the West Ham half before he wins a free-kick 35 yards out. The ball is swung towards the back post but Benteke heads the difficult chance wide.

16min: It's been a nervous affair so far. West Ham remain content with a more direct playing style while Villa for all their effort just lack quality trying to pierce the West Ham backline.

13min: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham United have scored three opening goals in their away PL matches this season, together with Wigan, Norwich and Fulham least of all clubs. Villa have scored the opener in four of their home matches this PL season, only QPR (2) have less.

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

10min: James Tomkins produces a neat sliding tackle to deny Weimann a chance to cross from inside the box and Villa win their first corner.

It's cleared but shortly after winning a second corner, Nathan Baker and Carroll clash heads trying to head the ball and play has stopped for a minute or two while they receive treatment. Both look like they will be okay to continue once they stop seeing stars.

8min: Villa are showing the more attacking purpose so far but apart from that horror miss from Weimann ( I wonder what Darren Bent made of that on the sub's bench) we haven't seen any more chances.

5min: Otherwise it's a bright start from Villa who have controlled possession, but they do concede a free-kick in the centre-circle and you know what comes next.

West Ham pump a long high ball into the box for Andy Carroll, who wins a flick on and pounces on a loose ball to loop a shot just over Brad Guzan's crossbar.

2min: Miss of the season, there I said it! It's a horrible moment all round as Christian Benteke's low shot towards the near post from 20 yards is ludicrously fumbled by West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, only for Andreas Weimann to somehow place the rebound wide of the post with an open goal staring him in the face.

1min: From OptaJoe:

1 – West Ham have taken one point from the last 21 available on the road, scoring just five in their last nine PL away games. Travels.

Kick-off: Villa get us going.

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

13.27: Out come the players and speaking of claret and blue there are many empty seats inside Villa Park.

13.24: The players are in the tunnel with Aston Villa standing in claret and blue opposite West Ham…who are also in claret and blue.

The Hammers are in their more blue based away kit but this could hurt my eyes.

13.19: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham have failed to win in their last five PL visits to Villa Park, failing to score on four occasions. Their only victory in the last 14 visits was in January 2006 (2-1) when Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood (penalty) scored. Lee Hendrie netted for Villa.

13.14: We know about Villa's troubles this term but what happened the last time they went down Sadly the team of 1987 share many similarities with Paul Lambert's strugglers from this season as I found out here.

13.09: Gabriel Agbonlahor is ruled out through illness by the way. Still though it says much about Paul Lambert's faith in Darren Bent that he picks a forward who cost 23.4m less in his starting XI over him. At least Villa have some sort of firepower on the bench though.

Team news

Team news

13.06: Full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v West Ham
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Weimann, Westwood, Delph, Bowery, N'Zogbia, Benteke. Subs: Given, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Dawkins, Bannan, Bennett.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Taylor, Joe Cole, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, Jarvis, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te, Demel, Chamakh, O'Neil.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

13.03: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hands a first Barclays Premier League start to striker Jordan Bowery, a 600,000 summer signing from Chesterfield, against West Ham at Villa Park.

Midfielder Fabian Delph, who has recovered from an ankle injury, and left-back Nathan Baker are recalled as Villa looked to end a run of eight league games without a win.

On-loan Wolfsburg defender Emanuel Pogatetz is given a first start by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, with Joe Cole also brought back into the starting line-up.

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

13.00: From OptaJoe:

2 – Aston Villa have scored just two goals in their last seven Premier League matches at Villa Park. Shy.

12.57: If there is one avenue we can see West Ham scoring from today, it is through set-pieces. Judging by Aston Villa's poor record at defending them it seems a West Ham corner + Andy Carroll's headers = goals.

Villa captain Ron Vlaar claims though that he and his teammates are aware of their set-piece struggles and targeting to put things right.

12.54: Sadly of course the big talking point this morning is not about the football but about Paul Gascoigne who has been rushed into intensive care in the USA.

The former England international is said to be out of immediate danger but let's continue to hope Gazza can make a full recovery.

12.51: The Villa Park pitch looks very tidy this afternoon but the less said about the weather, the better. It's wet, cold and overcast in the West Midlands but I guess we shouldn't be too surprised – it is February folks.

12.48: Speaking of Manchester United they will attempt to go a dozen points clear at the top of the table when they take on Everton at 4pm. You can follow live coverage of that match from around 3.30pm with myself straight after the action here at Villa Park.

12.45: Yesterday's results have given Villa a big incentive to take three points today as it would see them climb out of the bottom three into 17th.

West Ham may reside in mid-table but on 30 points they are not quite out of the relegation fight. A win today though and they would be 12 points clear of the bottom three. If a gap like that would be good enough for Manchester United, then I think Sam Allardyce's team would be content too.

Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, J.Cole, Taylor, Carroll.

12.35: Aston Villa starting XI:

Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann, Benteke.

12.30: Apart from Manchester United (and we will get to them in a minute) one of the big winners from yesterday were Aston Villa, who saw the majority of their rivals battling relegation fail to pick up any points.

That's not quite job done for Paul Lambert's side this weekend though. Sitting one place off the bottom of the table they need to start winning points of their own. Today they host West Ham – a side suspect on their travels this term. Team news coming up.

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Lee Clark, Birmingham manager, backs up David Sullivan"s agent violence claims

Birmingham boss Clark backs up Sullivan's agent violence claims and calls for change

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

19:20 GMT, 3 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 3 February 2013

SCAVENGERS!

Read David Sullivan's shockingly revealing interview HERE

Lee Clark has added his voice to that of West Ham owner David Sullivan in asking for the issue of players' agents to be looked at.

Birmingham City's boss gave his backing to the claims made by the Hammers' owner that he had felt threatened after a number of deals last week fell through.

Sullivan said he was unsure which representatives were acting for which players as he attempted to push through signings.

Change: Lee Clark believes the current agent system needs to be looked at

Change: Lee Clark believes the current agent system needs to be looked at

GANG WARFARE!

Read Harry Redknapp's verdict on the behaviour of agents HERE

And Clark, who was also on the defensive as he fielded questions about Birmingham's playing staff that the club needed to be off-loaded to meet cash issues, said something needed to be done.

He said: 'I read what David Sullivan had to say about agents and I agreed with him.

'We have had deals in place this week and there have been seven or eight people trying to jump in on them.'

Shocking: West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said he was threatened by an agent during the January transfer window

Shocking: West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said he was threatened by an agent during the January transfer window

He added: 'I don't know how it happens – perhaps a player says to a friend that he's getting a move and whether they'd like to earn a few quid – but it's getting so difficult to do them.

'Half the time you don't have a clue who actually represents these players.

'What I'd like to see is the player's representative actually listed with the Football Association. That way, it's transparent, it can be checked and everyone knows where they stand.

'Getting agents registered was supposed to solve the problem. It's not solved anything as far as I can see. It needs looking at.'

South Africa 2 Angola 0: Siyabonga Sangweni and Lehlohonolo Majoro on target for hosts

South Africa 2 Angola 0: Hosts off the mark as Sangweni and Majoro settle nerves

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:59 GMT, 23 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 23 January 2013

South Africa found their rhythm in the Africa Cup of Nations as they eased past Angola to the top of Group A.

After a goalless draw against Cape Verde on Saturday, the hosts burst into life in Durban.

Siyabonga Sangweni smashed home a volley after half an hour and Bafana Bafana were in cruise control when Lehlohonolo Majoro scored early in the second half.

Full report to follow….

Settling the nerves: Siyabonga Sangweni (2nd left) is congratulated after scoring for South Africa

Settling the nerves: Siyabonga Sangweni (2nd left) is congratulated after scoring for South Africa

Crowd pleaser: Sangweni celebrates with the fans in Durban after scoring for South Africa

Crowd pleaser: Sangweni celebrates with the fans in Durban after scoring for South Africa

He's behind you: Angola's Dany Massunguna is challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala

He's behind you: Angola's Dany Massunguna is challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala

Doubling up: South African Tokelo Rantie tries to hold off Angola pair Fabricio (left) and Dede

Doubling up: South African Tokelo Rantie tries to hold off Angola pair Fabricio (left) and Dede

Saracens 40 Edinburgh 7: Bonus-point win sends Sarries through in Vicarage Road send-off

Saracens 40 Edinburgh 7: Ashton doubles lifts Sarries in Vicarage Road send-off

By
Luke Benedict

PUBLISHED:

15:50 GMT, 20 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 20 January 2013

England winger Chris Ashton defied the snow to score two tries and book Saracens a Heineken Cup quater-final clash with Ulster.

It was the sort of day when a winger only touches the ball twice – luckily for Ashton he scored both times. The first was a routine chase but the second came from a controversial cross-field kick from Owen Farrell.

The England fly-half, wearing the Saracens number 13 shirt yesterday, looked to be teeing up a penalty but spotted Ashton open wide and pulled the trigger. The Edinburgh players were furious as the kicking tee was already on the pitch, meaning Saracens, playing their final match at Vicarage Road, had no option but to kick.

Saracens finished first in their table ahead of Munster and Racing Metro

Top dogs: Saracens finished first in their table ahead of Munster and Racing Metro

Charlie Hodgson celebrates after scoring Saracens' fourth try to secure their bonus-point

Ecstatic: Charlie Hodgson celebrates after scoring Saracens' fourth try to secure their bonus-point

But Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall preferred to salute Ashton, saying: 'It was great to see Ashy score a couple of tries and getting back to what he really does best.

'The second try was fantastic and I wish I could claim credit for thinking that up; Ashy and Owen (Farrell) just saw each other and they pulled it off.

'We can appreciate just how difficult it was out there and we said after the game that the conditions were as bad as it gets with the ball like a bar of soap.’

Saracens' skipper Steve Borthwick rampages through tackles at a very snowy Vicarage Road

Power: Saracens' skipper Steve Borthwick rampages through tackles at a very snowy Vicarage Road

Richard Wigglesworth handed Edinburgh a way back before half-time. With the ball slipping around like an ice-hockey puck the Saracens scrum-half fumbled and Greig Tonks tobogganed over the line.

But the game was won early in the second half with an unstoppable lineout drive. Eight snowmen might have done a better job of slowing down the driving maul than the visiting pack and Matt Stevens emerged smiling.

Saracens' Ernst Joubert takes a line-out on full stretch

Reach for the sky: Saracens' Ernst Joubert takes a line-out on full stretch

It was Charlie Hodgson who scored the crucial fourth try to cap off another polished performance this season. Edinburgh captain Greg Laidlaw was distracted by Joel Tomkins’ dummy line and Hodgson simply stepped through the defence.

The only question for Saracens now is where to stage April’s quarter-final. Their new Allianz Park 10,000-seater stadium is not large enough so the club are ‘assessing all options’ with Wembley a possibility.

Will Fraserescapes the Edinburgh defence on his way to a break the gain line

Braving the cold: Will Fraserescapes the Edinburgh defence on his way to a break the gain line

The groundsmen did a terrific job to get the match on and have the send-off for Vicarage Road

Snowed under: The groundsmen did a terrific job to get the match on and have the send-off for Vicarage Road

Barcelona rule out David Villa sale to Arsenal

Another Arsenal blow as Barcelona stand firm over Villa as they rule out January move

after breaking his leg at the FIFA Club World Cup in December, 2011.

Vilanova added: 'The other day he scored two goals. We've always said that he's coming off a long injury, and he's getting more minutes all the time. But he's suffering more physical problems again.

'We know how important he is, like last year when we missed him a lot in the second half of the season.

'I'm convinced he will help us a lot over the remainder of the season.'

Alfred N"Diaye joins Sunderland

Sunderland complete first signing of window as N'Diaye joins for 3m from Bursaspor

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

15:29 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

Sunderland have completed the signing of midfielder Alfred N'Diaye from Turkish side Bursaspor for 3m.

As revealed by Sportmail earlier this week, the 22-year-old has today signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light after completing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

He is Martin O'Neill's first signing of the January transfer window.

New face: Alfred N'Diaye has joined Sunderland for 3m from Turkish side Bursaspor

New face: Alfred N'Diaye has joined Sunderland for 3m from Turkish side Bursaspor

N'Diaye started his career with Nancy
four years ago and moved to Turkey at the start of last season after
more than 60 appearances in the French top division.

O’Neill,
who is desperate for midfield cover for injured captain Lee Cattermole,
launched a bid for the ball-winning midfielder at the opening of the
transfer window.

Powerhouse: N'Diaye (left) passed a medical on Wearside today and could make his debut against West Ham this weekend

Powerhouse: N'Diaye (left) passed a medical on Wearside today and could make his debut against West Ham this weekend

He told his club's website: 'Alfred is a strong, powerful young player and as such can offer us more strength in depth.

'He will give us options and I'm delighted that we have been able to bring him to the club.'

N'Diaye could go straight into the squad for Saturday's home game with West Ham if he receives international clearance in time.

London Welsh 15 Wasps 34

London Welsh 15 Wasps 34: Super Simpson gets his side in contention for top four spot

PUBLISHED:

18:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

A brilliant try from scrum-half Joe Simpson was the highlight of London Wasps' bonus point victory as they did the Aviva Premiership double over London Welsh this season.

Simpson had an outstanding game as Wasps came from behind with tries from wing Elliot Daly, replacement prop Will Taylor and, right at the end, a fourth try for wing Tom Varndell.

Welsh fly-half Gordon Ross kicked all his side's points with five penalties, while Wasps fly-half Nicky Robinson landed three penalties, Daly booted one and replacement stand-off Stephen Jones kicked the only conversion of the match.

Crunch: Hugo Southwell of Wasps is tackled by Franck Montanella

Crunch: Hugo Southwell of Wasps is tackled by Franck Montanella

Wasps were looking for to repeat their win over the Exiles at Adams Park, Wycombe, back in October.

Welsh, meanwhile, needed to bounce back from a 13-6 loss at Worcester.

Although not in any immediate danger at the wrong end of the table after basement side Sale Sharks beat Worcester on Friday night, revenge on their near neighbours would be welcome for head coach Lyn Jones if only to steer them further away from the dogfight below them.

The first half-hour was dominated by the boot, both with positional kicks and shots at goal, as first Welsh took a six-point advantage and then saw it clawed back by their visitors.

There was not a great deal to choose between them up front but the most obvious mistake made by the field kickers, Welsh full-back Tom Arscott a particular offender – was booting the ball straight into touch and losing the territory that would have gained.

Wasps could have led handsomely at the interval had they taken the majority of their goal kicks. Daly missed a long-range effort for the visitors before an excellent scrum from the Exiles and an offside decision given their way saw Ross secure two successes.

On the move: Elliot Daly of Wasps (left) gets going as his side did the double over London Welsh

On the move: Elliot Daly of Wasps (left) gets going as his side did the double over London Welsh

But the lead did not last long as ex-Wales international Robinson levelled matters with two penalties but then sent two more penalties wide of the uprights from similar distances of 25 metres.

Ross, on the other hand, was deadly accurate at that short range. As Welsh frustrated their opponents and the front row of Franck Montanella, Neil Briggs and James Tideswell caused havoc for opponents Zak Taulafo, Rhys Thomas and Phil Swainston, Ross secured another two goals to take his side into a 12-6 interval lead.

But, even though the ball may have been greasy from the earlier rain, there was little excuse for a poor first-half with hardly any invention in attack towards either try-line.

Robinson reduced the arrears after the break to three points with his third penalty before a piece of individual magic took the match up a gear.

In what will surely be one of the contenders for try of the season, Simpson took the ball from a line-out thirty metres from the Welsh line, went through a gap at the back and embarked on a diagonal sprint across the pitch.

Rough and tumble: Ed Jackson of London Welsh is tackled by Joe Launchbury (right)

Rough and tumble: Ed Jackson of London Welsh is tackled by Joe Launchbury (right)

He looked to be going nowhere but somehow found a gap towards the line. The scrum-half ran through three tackles and got past desperate defence on the line to touch down and leave everyone in the crowd amazed.

Robinson failed with the conversion but that put Wasps two points to the good and, when Daly kicked a thumping penalty from fully 53 metres, it was the turning point of the contest.

Wasps were on top and they threatened to leave Welsh with nothing to show for their efforts when Daly sprinted down the right wing to just get in for the second try of the game .

Welsh would not lay down, and Ross' fifth penalty put them within sight of Wasps. But a final killer converted try from replacement Will Taylor saw Wasps home and dry.

Vardnell went over on 83 minutes to get the bonus point and put Wasps challenging for a top four place on Saturday night.