Brisbane Darts Masters 2018 Night Three Final Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross MvG holds an 11 to 2 head to head record against Rob Cross. The only victories for the current World Champion were in the European Darts Open last 16 in 2017 and, the one that would hurt the most for the Dutchman, the semifinal of the last PDC World Championships. They have not met travelling the World Series of Darts circuit except for a quarter final in Glasgow in 2017, where the finals of the World Series of Darts was held that year. MvG won that ten legs to four. The last time, in fact three times, the two have met were in the 2018 Premier League with MvG winning 7-2 twice and 10-6 in the semifinal. Semi Final 1 Peter Wright v Rob Cross Peter Wright faces his third semifinal in two weeks. He lost in Auckland to Michael van Gerwen but then defeated MvG in Melbourne at the same stage. For Rob Cross this is his first semifinal downunder. There are two World Series of Darts events this year that these to have faced off at the semifinal stage, with Cross taking out both of them. Overall their 11 matches read six wins to Cross, four to Wright and one draw. This year the record is even worse for Wright with Cross winning four, one draw, and Wright defeating Cross 6-4 in the final of the PDPA Player Championships in Wigan in June. Semi Final 2 Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld Van Gerwen comes in with a strong record that seems to ever be on the improve against van Barneveld. The great Dutch masters sit at 35 – 19 and 1 draw in MVG’s favour. The last time they played was just a fortnight ago as they faced each other in the final of the Auckland Darts Masters, which MvG took out by eleven legs to four. In this year’s Premier League Barney and MVG took one win apiece against each other. Their only other clash this year on TV was in the final of the Masters which van Gerwen won eleven legs to nine. Barney has yet to win a World Series Tournament, and MVG has not won a World Series event on the east coast of Australia.
Night Two Quarter Final 1 Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld Both former World Champions these two have been mainstays of the World Series of Darts circuit, with Barney having participated in every downunder one since its inception in 2013. Anderson has won a version of the WSD downunder twice whilst Barney has made three finals. This year in the events here the two have avoided each other by being on opposite sides of the draw. Of the 44 times each have played the other the record is tight with the Flying Scotsman holding a slight advantage with 23 wins, 18 losses (and three draws.) In the Premier League this year Barney picked up a win and a draw. In the German Darts Masters, this years opening of the World Series of Darts, Barney defeated Anderson 10-8 in the quarter finals. In fact in their last ten matches, since March 2017, Anderson has won five, drawn one and lost four matches to van Barneveld. Quarter Final 2 Rob Cross v Corey Cadby Cadby was happy with the side of the draw he came out on but in the way now stands the current World Champion, Rob Cross. They have played each other twice, both this year, and both UK Open Qualifiers. They were best of 11 affairs where this match will be slightly longer. However both players know each other’s game and this will be a strongly fought out affair. At times Cross has looked amazing on this tour, only to have small lapses during the match. This is the time Cadby will need to pounce. He also must stay wary of a Cross revival. At any point the match is never done against Cross until the last dart is in the correct and final bed. Cadby started to show the fire and throw with the verocity his fans are used to last night but needs to do more of this in this match to overcome Cross. Quarter Final 3 Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson The head to head record is pretty clear in the battle of the previous two Auckland Darts Masters champions. MvG has won nine of their 11 clashes and the last time Kyle won was June 2016 in the Austrian Darts Open. In 2014 and 2016 MvG defeated Kyle Anderson in front of his family and friends in his state of birth, Western Australia, at the Perth Darts Masters. He won’t want this to be repeated in front of his adopted home state, of Queensland. Of their eleven matches it has only been a whitewash once. Should Anderson’s persistent power game be on song he could put pressure on the van Gerwen throw and from there it is hard to turn a match around in such a short format. However van Gerwen has looked strong throughout the last fortnight with intense scoring pressure seemingly the way to get half a chance against the Australian Number One dart player. Quarter Final 4 Peter Wright v Raymond Smith Peter Wright is still on a high winning Melbourne and will be looking to double this success in Brisbane. His next opponent is Raymond Smith who did not look uncomfortable on the PDC stage. Having played at places like Lakeside, and in the Pro Darts tour in January this year, Smith has the game to be a part of the latter stages of the World Series of Darts. Wright won both his matches on night two of this year’s downunder legs of the World Series of Darts whilst for Smith this is the first time he has been a part of the second night of a World Series of Darts event.
Night One Match 1 Michael Smith v Raymond Smith The battle of the Smiths. It will be interesting to see which Michael Smith turns up, the Auckland version or the Melbourne version. Queenslander Raymond Smith will have the very vocal support of the locals early and he is not put off by the name of an opponent. He did a good job against MvG in Melbourne to avoid a whitewash and will be all the better for the experience back home. He is in an excellent position to win the race to the World Championships this year and can use this as a practice run. He can also use the experience he gained at Lakeside to know he can take anyone on and on his day beat them. Match 2 Raymond van Barneveld v Gordon Mathers Having played at the World Championships in the last 12 months, and in front of his home crowd in some of the pro darts series in January, Mathers will not be intimidated by his opponent or the big stage. Mathers will look to the year he first played in the World Series of Darts, the very night Tic Bridge upset Barney in the first round. Barney may not be in the best form at times but he manages to get a win in the first round and is especially good at winning the last two legs if the match sits at 4-4, as he has done in Auckland and Melbourne this year. Mathers will be looking to secure his first World Series of Darts match after losing his only match in Sydney in that very first event downunder (against another Dutchman, Michael van Gerwen.) Match 3 Kyle Anderson v Barry Gardner Kyle Anderson was disappointed to lose to his good friend Damon Heta in Melbourne and now takes on another West Australian in Barry Gardner. Gardner actually defeated Heta throughout the Perth Premier League of Darts, including in the final, so will go in full of confidence against Anderson. For Anderson, playing in front of the state he now calls home, it will be important to him that he puts up a good performance. Gardner is the only player on debut in this tournament and will have to quickly adjust to life on the big stage. Match 4 Peter Wright v Justin Thompson Another former Lakeside player, Thompson comes into the event full of confidence having won so often at the Darts Australia Australian Championships at Bondi recently, including being selected in the DA national team. He played very well on the DPA circuit last year and played in Melbourne at the first version of the Melbourne Darts Masters, losing to Gary Anderson who averaged over 103 for the match. For Wright it will be interesting if he is still coming off a high of winning an event downunder and is ripe for the picking or will carry his form over from a week ago in Melbourne. Match 5 Rob Cross v Tim Pusey Pusey will have been happier with his performance in Auckland than in Melbourne whilst Cross will be thinking the opposite for his game. On his best Pusey will fancy his chances against the current World Champion and Cross will be glad to not be one of the earlier games tonight. Pusey needs to put Cross under pressure early to let the self doubt creep in although John Hurry demonstrated you can up the pressure at any time of the match. Cross will want to start this tournament more impressively than the previous two opening matches downunder in 2018, both of which have been against Kiwi opponents. The crowd will surely be in full voice for “The Magnet” so Cross will have to take them on as well. Match 6 Michael van Gerwen v Mark Cleaver Mark Cleaver has played two World Series of Darts matches before but did not win either of them. He has played Peter Wright and James Wade before and now the task gets even more difficult against Michael van Gerwen. MvG wont be happy with his last two performances in Melbourne after looking so confident after round one. At least he wont have such vocal support against him this time as he did in his Whitlock match in Melbourne. He will be determined to set down in his mark in a brand new tournament, like Phil Taylor did so often in these events until his retirement. Match 7 Simon Whitlock v Corey Cadby This preview writes itself really. Cadby will be out to redeem himself after what he will consider silly errors cost him a win over Whitlock in Melbourne. Whitlock, meanwhile, will want to prove that Melbourne was not a one off and that he still is clearly ahead of Cadby, and Kyle Anderson, as Australia’s number one player. Whitlock also leads the head to head clashes two to one and will want to retain that lead but Cadby has made a habit of not losing twice to the same opponents across the same World Series of Darts year, a fact even Phil Taylor can attest to. Match 8 Gary Anderson v Damon Heta Damon Heta is last up on stage for the second week in a row but his performance last week will give him confidence. Anderson will be wary of Heta after their excellent quarter final, especially in a more shorter format. Indeed had it been that format last week there is every chance the West Australian would have defeated the former two time World Champion. However, now Anderson knows the Heta game he will be better prepared for it. The slower pace is something Heta will look to use as it does put Anderson off his game slightly.