Robb Books Fourth Palace Trip

Red Dragon Darts

Ben Robb sealed his qualification for the 2023/24 Paddy Power World Darts Championship on Monday, after winning through the DartPlayers New Zealand Play-Offs in Christchurch.

Robb, a winner of six DPNZ ProTour titles in 2023, will make his fourth Alexandra Palace appearance in December, after celebrating an 8-4 success against Haupai Puha in the decider.

Monday’s Play-Offs – featuring the top 16 players on the DPNZ Order of Merit – featured two group stages prior to the semi-finals and final, with Robb winning eight consecutive matches to qualify.

The 34-year-old, who topped the DPNZ ProTour rankings this year, conceded just four legs in the opening group phase, dispatching Nick Kohey, Craig Caldwell and Darren Dummigan to make the perfect start to his campaign.

Robb maintained his winning run to storm into the semi-finals, overcoming Josh Roberts and Darren Herewini before denying his World Cup of Darts partner Warren Parry in a last-leg decider.

New Zealand’s number one then defied a sluggish start to see off emerging star Kayden Milne 7-4 in the semi-finals, winning five of the last six legs to set up a showdown against Puha.

Puha kicked off proceedings with a 104 checkout only to find himself 3-1 down, as Robb landed a 14-darter to take command of the contest.

Puha responded with three of the next five legs to cut the gap to 5-4, only for Robb to follow up consecutive legs of 12 and 13 darts with a clinical 86 kill to seal his Alexandra Palace return.

Puha averaged 103 in his Group B opener against Herewini, and whitewashed the same opponent in the semi-finals, but was denied a place in his second World Darts Championship by a dominant Robb.

However, earlier in the weekend, Puha and Parry claimed a title apiece as the DPNZ ProTour season concluded at the Black Horse Hotel.

Puha posted a ton-plus average to whitewash Jonny Tata in Saturday’s Event 11 decider, before veteran star Parry clinched his first title of 2023 with a deciding-leg victory against Mark Cleaver.

Three more International Qualifiers for the 2023/24 World Darts Championship will be confirmed next weekend, as further events take place around the globe.

The 2023 Championship Darts Latin America and Caribbean Tour will conclude in Santiago, Chile on October 14-15, with the Order of Merit winner guaranteed a place in the sport’s flagship event.

The 2023 PDC Women’s Series also reaches its climax with Events 21-24 in Wigan next weekend, and there are two spots available from the Women’s Series Order of Merit.

Women’s World Matchplay winner Beau Greaves has chosen not to compete at this year’s World Darts Championship, but the top two players behind Greaves on the Order of Merit will seal spots at Ally Pally.


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