Preview Night 2 New Zealand Darts Masters Hamilton Final The dutch double record reads 39 Van Gerwen 20 van Barneveld and one draw. Last year in Auckland MvG won 11-4 but in the World Series of Darts finals MvG was on the losing end, the last time he has been between these two. This is RvB’s third final in New Zealand but he is none from two so far, whilst it is van Gerwen’s second and he has one from one so far in terms of victories in the finals in World Series of Darts events in New Zealand
Semi Final 1 James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld Wade and van Barneveld both looked on a mission in their quarter finals so this will be a battle of wills. Their head to head record is close at 25 wins to Barney, 23 to Wade and four draws. In last years semi final of the World Series of Darts final Wade came away victor, the last time the two have met on the World Series of Darts stage. The two have met in a semi final in New Zealand before, the 2015 Auckland Darts Masters, a match Barney won by ten legs to six.
Semi Final 2 Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross MvG has a clear record against Rob Cross with a 16-3 lead in their matches. The last time Cross won was the final of the Brisbane Darts Masters last year and it is the only time the two have met in the World Series of Darts.
Quarter Final 1 Peter Wright v James Wade James Wade actually holds the upper hand head to head but only just. There are 19 wins to Wade and 18 wins to Wright with one draw. They have met each other four times in downunder World Series event with Wade holding a 3-1 lead, including defeating Wright in their only meeting in Auckland.
Quarter Final 2 Daryl Gurney v Raymond van Barneveld The head to head with these two stand at three all with one draw. The only time they have met in the World Series downunder was the 2017 Perth Darts Masters semi final when van Barneveld defeated Gurney in the 21st leg, 11-10.
Quarter Final 3 Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson These two played each other last week which MvG won 8-6. Last year in Auckland MvG also defeated Anderson 10-4 in the same stage. Overall the record is 38 wins to MvG, 18 to Anderson and two draws.
Quarter Final 4 Rob Cross v Ben Robb Cross defeated Damon Heta at this stage last week, having lost to a qualifier (being Heta) in the final in Brisbane this year. It is the first time the two have met but Cross will want to improve on his quarter final elimination last year in Auckland.
Night 1 Match 1 James Wade v Craig Caldwell James Wade may not have won any matches in the World Series event downunder so far but his record in New Zealand is impressive. Of his three events in Auckland he made three successive semi finals. In 2015 Craig Caldwell played all three events in the World Series downunder, losing 6-1 and 6-0 to Phil Taylor in Perth and Auckland respectively. He will want to do better than these at home this time around and it is not like he does not know his opponent for in Sydney 2015 his opponent was none other than James Wade where he lost 6-1 to the Englishman.
Match 2 Simon Whitlock v Ben Robb Simon Whitlock has already put to the sword two players from the DPA circuit in Brisbane and Melbourne this year. Brendon McCausland and Mick Lacey both fell to the Wizard in the first round but Ben Robb has at times had the measure of these two in Australia so the challenge will be great. Robb came in as a late replacement for Corey Cadby last year and was edged out by Whitlock 6 legs to 5. With his increased experience, including being up on the World Series stage in Brisbane, Robb will not be nervous if he got to another final leg decider against Whitlock. He will want to prove he has the goods after the Brisbane result so this will be even more motivation to play well in front of his home supporters. Whitlock has never lost his opening round match in his 3 World Series events in New Zealand and won his last opening match in Melbourne as well as winning and then progressing through to the semi final of the Brisbane Darts Masters.
Match 3 Daryl Gurney v David Platt David Platt has played eight different PDC players at the World Series of Darts events downunder, but none by the name of Daryl Gurney. Platt wont be provoked by the big stage having been to the World Championships on a couple of occasions and the World Series of Darts stage nine times, including once in Auckland (where he lost 6-2 to Adrian Lewis.) However it is like going from one side of Europe to the other to travel from his place in WA to Hamilton in NZ so the travel will be challenging so close to the event. Daryl Gurney is in hot form, having never lost an opening round match in World Series events downunder (he has been in five), he has made the semi finals in Brisbane this year and the final of the Melbourne Darts Masters last week. David Platt has come closer then anyone else in matching Phil Taylor's only televised nine darter in Australia and New Zealand, just missing the double 12 (as shown in photo below.) Match 4 Rob Cross v Warren Parry A World champion plays Warren Parry in a World Series of Darts opener. Heard that one before? You know where Parry is 5-1 down and wins 6-5. As a one off match the upset of the World Series of Darts franchise. In eight World Series matches that has been his only win, including three in Auckland. He has played Peter Wright once and Raymond van Barneveld twice at Auckland but the future Hall of Famer will want to secure a win on both sides of the ditch in the World Series. Rob Cross made the final of the Brisbane Darts Masters and the semi final in Melbourne last week. He has never lost in the first round but came with 76 of doing so in Brisbane this year and in last year’s Auckland Darts Masters John Hurring also took him to a last leg decider in the night of nights for New Zealand darts.
Match 5 Gary Anderson v Haupai Puha Haupai Puha has drawn another former world champion in the first round of a World Series event in 2019. Having been seen off twice by Raymond van Barneveld in Brisbane and Melbourne he will be looking to change things against Anderson. Having played Rob Cross last year the only time he has not played a former World Champion is last year in Auckland, when he lost 6-4 to Kyle Anderson. Gary Anderson has won his opening round events in Australia this year but just before it, at the German Darts Masters, he was eliminated in the opening round by Nico Kurz. Anderson has always loved visiting New Zealand, often reflecting on how it reminds him of Scotland. Of his three events in New Zealand he is undefeated in the first round (defeating two Aussies in Rob Modra and Tim Pusey and New Zealand dart royalty in Bernie Smith) and won the whole event in 2016, defeating Adrian Lewis in the Final 11-7.
Match 6 Peter Wright v Damon Heta Heta may have been born in Australia but he has a large connection with New Zealand. His story is well written, having won the Brisbane Darts Masters and winning another opening round match against James Wade. Wright was inconsistent in Melbourne, with averages in the 80s in round 1 and the semi-final. His quarter final, however, showed what he can do. He also won the German Darts Masters so this will be the first time in World Series of Darts history where two winners of the same year World Series events have met up in the first round. Wright made the semi-finals in Auckland last year but two years prior fell out in the first round, against Corey Cadby. He has participated in all the World Series events in New Zealand, Raymond van Barneveld the only other man to have done so, whilst Heta lost in the Auckland Darts Masters in his only appearance in 2016 (6-3 to Michael van Gerwen. Heta can travel and perform as proved by him flying to New Zealand earlier this year and qualifying for this tournament at the first attempt.
Match 7 Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson This will be the third match of the opening night where the two have played each other before, an unusual statistic in that they are normally qualifiers on the non PDC side of the draw. Anderson has won twice in their 13 outings, both in 2016, the first time winning a final leg decider in an early round of a players championship event, and the second time a 6-4 win in the quarter finals of the Austrian Darts Open three months later. Last year in Brisbane Anderson lost to MvG in the quarter finals. This is a match up between two former Auckland Darts Masters champions as the last two winners go head to head. Anderson won his opening match in Brisbane but then lost in the same round in Melbourne whilst MvG was undefeated in round one in Australia, winning in Melbourne just a week ago, although he lost in the opening round of the German Darts Masters to Martin Schindler. His form in Melbourne and warning of more to come post match sounded an ominous call to his opponents in Hamilton. This will be MvG’s 44th match in World Series of Darts events downunder, and despite missing a year after the birth of his child, he has played in more matches than anyone else in World Series events across New Zealand and Australia. In that regard Kyle Anderson is not short of experience, ranking seventh in terms of the number of games played by anyone across the World Series of Darts downunder. Match 8 Raymond van Barneveld v Cody Harris The favourite son returns home to New Zealand. Cody Harris has etched out a career on the challenge tour in the UK having previously played a big part in both the DPA and DPNZ tours. He returns as an invitee to the New Zealand leg of the World Series of Darts. He has played in three Auckland events and not one any, the closest he came was a 6-4 loss to Simon Whitlock two years ago. He has actually played six events but not won in the opening round of any. He has twice played Barney, completing 50% of the matches tonight being rematches, both in the opening round of World Series events. He lost 6-0 to him in Sydney 2015 in his debut at a World Series event. Then a year later he lost in his home town of Auckland, 6-2 to van Barneveld. Three years later Harris is a different player, having refined his game in the tough school that is the development tour. Barney, however, has put Harris’s World Cup team mate Haupai Puha to the sword twice already this year though (in Brisbane and Melbourne), and will want to complete a clean sweep of Kiwi World Cup scalps in Hamilton. It will also be his last World Series event downunder that will close a chapter in these events as he is the only player to have played in all of them across Australia and New Zealand since 2013.