Final Damon Heta v Rob Cross So Cross puts up his undefeated streak against a qualifier. It is the second World Series event in a row where a qualifier has made it to the final but Cross will take some confidence from the fact that Peter Wright put Gabriel Clemens to the sword that night. Heta recently won the Australian Open Final and now boasts a 4-4 record at World Series events downunder so winning this would put his matches in the positive. Cross will be a firm favourite but the two have never met so he will need to be wary of the unknown. : Semi Final 1 Simon Whitlock v Damon Heta Simon Whitlock has made the semi finals of the World Series of Darts downunder three times, losing to Barney in Auckland and perhaps more personally, losing twice to Phil Taylor in Melbourne and Sydney. Heta has never made the semi finals but having beaten four of the world’s finest players in the last week or so you cannot write him off. As demonstrated in his quarter final against Kyle Anderson – Whitlock enjoys nothing more than showing why he is still Australia’s number one player globally and he will be looking to make his first final by winning this match.
Semi Final 2 Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney These two have played each other eleven times and the record is 7-4 to Cross. Gurney lost twice to the Englishman in the Premier League this year and come off second best in their last three meetings. Surprisingly perhaps this is their first World Series semi final appearances in 2019, both having lost in the quarters of the previous two legs in the US and Germany respectively. Gurney has now made the semi finals of all three Australian World Series events that he has appeared in but is yet to win one. Cross is still undefeated in Brisbane coming into this match.
Quarter Final 1 Simon Whitlock v Kyle Anderson In this all Australian match up there is plenty of competitive spirit when Whitlock takes on Anderson. They may be World Cup team mates but both like nothing more than to beat the other at the oche. Whitlock has played in the quarter finals in downunder events nine times and has won just three of them. Anderson has played in six and won two, both against Simon Whitlock. In PDC events the two have played each other ten times, with the record reading 7-3 to Whitlock. The last four times they have played Whitlock has won and it was actually the Auckland Darts Masters that Anderson secured his last win against the Wizard. Both players know each other’s games inside out as World Cup team mates over several years now. With Anderson’s family now residing in Queensland and Whitlock born south of the border, this clash has a state of origin kind of feel to it.
Quarter Final 2 Damon Heta v Gary Anderson Damon Heta has only made the quarter finals of these competitions once and lost that match 10-7, against Gary Anderson. That was in Melbourne and the two resumed their new found rivalry a week later in Brisbane in the round of 16. There Heta also lost, this time in a final leg thriller, so the head to head is 2-0 to Anderson but both were close run affairs. Anderson was in good form Night 1 and if he is to win on his birthday Heta must convert more of his opportunities at a check out. His record in quarter finals is not as good as it should be in these competitions, of eleven matches he has won just three, so Heta may take something out of that. He also lost his quarter final at Las Vegas this year to Gerwyn Price.
Quarter Final 3 Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld Two former champions of the world, these players are at the opposite end of their careers. Cross is still to lose in Brisbane whilst Barney made it all the way to the semi finals in Brisbane last year only to lose to the man who would fall to Cross in the final, Michael van Gerwen. Cross has only won that quarter final at this stage, having fallen in the quarters in Melbourne and Auckland last year. He has also not won a quarter final in this year’s World Series, having lost in America and Germany. Barney’s record is very strong if he makes the quarter finals downunder, having won seven of his eleven quarter finals. They have in fact only played themselves seven times, three of them in the Premier League. Cross is undefeated with only the 6-6 draw in last year’s Premier League not being a tick in the victory column of the Englishman. This is a case of the head to head record v the quarter final record (in competitions downunder.)
Quarter Final 4 Daryl Gurney v Michael van Gerwen Van Gerwen lost his only quarter final in the World Series this year and will be looking to make amends in Brisbane. Gurney, too, is winless at this stage in this competition this year, having lost twice including a last start whitewash at the hands of James Wade. Gurney lost to James Wade at this stage in Auckland in 2017 but has won his other two quarter finals downunder. These two players have never met in the World Series downunder. Van Gerwen has won eight quarter finals in the World Series downunder, losing three (two against fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld.) Head to head they have played each other 26 times with 20 victories to MvG, five to Gurney and one draw. Since November last year they have played each other five times in PDC matches and Gurney has secured three of them although MvG won the last two, the last time in the semi finals of this year’s Premier League 10-7.
Night 1 Brisbane Darts Masters 2019 Previews:
M1 Raymond van Barneveld v Haupai Puha Any bookie worth their salt would consider making Puha favourite in this match. His tenacity and will to win is strong and he will have learnt from his defeats in the World Series last year. This will be Puha’s debut in Brisbane though and Barney is the only player to have played in every World Series of Darts event in Australia and New Zealand in history, a remarkable record that will come to an end after Hamilton this year. Barney has made some big exits in round one downunder, to the likes of Tic Bridge, Corey Cadby, and Kyle Anderson (twice), so he is vulnerable. He also lost in the first round of this years German Darts Masters to Gabriel Clemens, who went on to make the final. Anyone who has seen Puha play over the last couple of years, know that he has the will and desire to repeat, or even better, that result.
M2 Daryl Gurney v Koha Kokiri This is not the first time match up for these two, and Kohiri will be looking for retribution. He was whitewashed in front of his home crowd in Perth in 2017. Gurney averaged over 106 that day and went on to lose out in the semi final in the deciding 21st leg to RvB. Kokiri has not won an opening round match in three attempts whilst Gurney is undefeated downunder in his three (defeating Kokiri, Rob Modra and Dave Marland.) Gurney has won both his opening matches this year in World Series events, but his average has been down in the 92 range. If he repeats that then Kokiri could be in with a shot of an upset. One thing for sure Kokiri will not be thrown by the big stage, everything comes pretty easy for Koha, and that calmness in a storm will be one characteristic that Gurney will have to stay aware of.
M3 James Wade v Damon Heta The two have not played off against each other but Wade should be wary playing Heta who has just come off winning the Australian Open of Darts last week. Wade is in some form as well, making the semi finals of the German Darts Masters. Heta will not be intimidated by the Brisbane stage, having taken Gary Anderson to a deciding leg here last year before taking out Kyle Anderson in the first round in Melbourne. As with Whitlock and McCausland Anderson and Heta had been previous playing partners. Wade did not take part in the Australian events last year and thus has never been on the stage in Brisbane. He has a formidable record downunder though, having lost only once in his opening round matches in Australia and New Zealand, that one loss to Rhys Mathewson in Sydney in 2016. Heta will be looking to copy that feat in Brisbane 2019.
M4 Simon Whitlock v Brendan McCausland This match seemed like destiny the instant Brendan McCausland won his qualification spot. There is so much history between the two, from playing partners and training partners to classic match ups, these two have had it all. It did not always go Whitlock’s way either. So this match roles back the years. It should help McCausland but the big stage is a different beast and Whitlock has a way of rising when he plays against close mates or close rivals but last year in Brisbane a different script was written as he fell to Corey Cadby in the deciding leg of in the first round. Whitlock wont want to make that mistake again. He went on last year to beat Cadby in the first round in Melbourne but prior to that he won a deciding leg to get through against Ben Robb in Auckland. McCausland has a chance in this match, Whitlock has lost five times in the opening round of World Series Matches downunder, but the Wizard will want to put to bed the demons from Brisbane last year with a good win over his mate.
M5 James Bailey v Rob Cross Former World Champion, current Matchplay champion and undefeated Brisbane Darts Masters champion. That is what faces James Bailey in his second ever World Series of Darts clash in the form of Rob Cross. Bailey is playing on his home soil so we may hear the odd cry of Queenslander from the fans. He is certainly better prepared this year, having been in the World Championships and Q school between his last match on the World Series Stage in Melbourne and now. Cross is a force though, with obvious recent strong form. He has won both his opening matches in the World Series events so far, although made it no further in either event. Cross has never lost in an opening round match downunder although John Hurring took him to a final leg decider last year. James Bailey could take something from that match being Cross’s opening match of the matches downunder last year. Bailey took two legs off one former World Champion in Gary Anderson last year, he will be looking to do even better this time around.
M6 Michael van Gerwen v Ben Robb Ben Robb almost caused a boil over in his first match in the World Series by taking Simon Whitlock to a deciding leg. This is another step up again although all he needs to do is channel another Kiwi legend, Warren Parry, who took out MvG in the opening round of the World Series of Darts in Sydney in 2014. Van Gerwen can point to the fact though that this match was the only time he has ever lost in the opening round of any World Series of Darts match down under. He will also want to make amends for losing in the opening round of the German Darts Masters in the last installment of this year’s World Series of Darts.
M7 Gary Anderson v Corey Cadby This is a match up between a former World Youth Champion and a (multiple) former World Champion. Anderson enjoys a benign match so watch out for fireworks if he gets riled up by Cadby’s enthusiasm on stage. They actually have a tied record head to head, but Anderson won the match that mattered most – the Final of the 2018 UK Open at Minehead (11-7). Cadby won in the opening match of his Brisbane Darts Masters campaign last year, over Simon Whitlock, whilst Anderson just edged out Damon Heta in a deciding leg at the same stage. Anderson lost in the opening round of the last leg of this tournament in Germany. If it is close it sure to be a match that will create conversation one way or another!
M8 Peter Wright v Kyle Anderson These two have played each other six times in the PDC with Wright having won four and Anderson two. Wright has won their last two fixtures with Anderson last beating Wright in February 2017. For Anderson this really is his home crowd these days, with his wife and child living in Queensland whilst Anderson plies his trade in the UK. He won the corresponding fixture last year over Barry Gardiner and will be looking to repeat that this year. However Wright started just as strongly, defeating Justin Thompson and Ray Smith on the way to the semi finals. Downunder Kyle’s record in the opening round stands at exactly 6 wins and 6 losses. Wright’s record is clearer, he has only lost once in the first round, to Corey Cadby, in Auckland in 2017, a tournament Anderson would go on and win, defeating Cadby in the final.