Blogs & Opinion

Rod Harrington:

Most Popular Posts:

Mastering the master

Rod previews Premier League Night 11 in Bournemouth

Rod Harrington Posted 17th April 2012 view comments

A few years ago, whenever Phil Taylor played Adrian Lewis we'd describe it as the master against the apprentice.

But nowadays the apprentice has become a master.

Adrian is a double world champion and in the last few weeks he's shown some of the grit and determination that has made him one of the best players in the game. But if he wants to beat his former mentor in Bournemouth he needs to go out with all guns blazing.

Taylor: will he master Lewis?

Taylor: will he master Lewis?

You do get chances playing against The Power, but if you let him off the hook then he will bury you. Raymond van Barneveld had a great chance to make it 4-4 against Taylor last week, but missed eight doubles and got punished. He ended up losing 8-3.

Lewis can't afford to do that and must take his chances when they come along. He must impose his game on his opponent and do it early because it's extremely rare to see Taylor lose from a winning position.

Premier League Darts

Week 11 from Bournemouth
7pm, Thu, Sky Sports 1 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

I normally say 140s win games, but in this instance I think it will be all about the 180s. He's got to whack out the maximums consistently against Phil to get a result out of him.

Taylor likes to stamp his authority on the youngsters and I can't see him taking his foot off the gas here.

Taylor is already through to the play-offs, but there's never a good time to play him and once again, I would back him for the win.

However, if Lewis can impose his game then there's a result there for him. I just hope the crowd give him a chance; I don't think the young man deserves some of the stick he gets from time to time.

Many fans would still see Van Barneveld v Taylor as the biggest game in darts, but for me it has to be Lewis v Taylor because it sees the world champion going up against the best player in history. Furthermore, Adrian knows how to beat him on the big stage.

In terms of pedigree, this is the biggest draw in our sport. If Lewis is on top of his game then it could go either way.

It all depends if the world champion can take his chances.

Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock

This should be an interesting game. Simon Whitlock played extremely well last week, as did Barney if you ignore those eight missed doubles. The Dutchman then went and won both Tour events at the weekend, which shows he now believes he is a great player. Everybody else knew it - and we've been telling him so for a long time - so it's great to see him develop some belief in his ability.

Whitlock emerged as a top player because he never used to miss many doubles and he'd take out a lot of ton-plus finishes. He hasn't been doing that this year and I'm going to tip Barney to win a very close game as a result. He won't worry about what Whitlock hits and should be confident enough to impose himself here.

Gary Anderson v Kevin Painter

Kevin Painter is desperate for a win. He's been unlucky in the last few weeks because he played very well against both Taylor and Whitlock, but came away with nothing. However, we've seen plenty of maturity from him because he hasn't been getting frustrated with himself. If he can produce a workmanlike performance against Anderson then I think he could get those much-needed two points.

Anderson has not been playing at the top of his game. He played two matches last week and only picked up one point - and I felt he got away with it against Andy Hamilton. However, he's the sort of player that could turn it on and blow anybody away. On form you'd have to back Painter, even though he'll be an outsider with the bookies, and I'm going to back him to nick a close battle.

James Wade v Andy Hamilton

If punching was allowed in darts then I think you'd see Andy Hamilton hitting his opponents. He's the nicest guy you'll ever meet off the board, but in the midst of a game he has a real air of aggression. It's great to watch because it's aggression, rather than arrogance, and he never gives up. We saw that as he battled for a draw against Anderson last week. He's down the bottom, but he could easily have four more points on the board and I think this is a must-win game; it's getting to the stage where a draw is not enough.

James Wade has been showing the form that made him a multiple major winner and you have to side with him. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton nicks a point. I'm just not sure if that would be enough for him.

Rod's top tips

I think the most 180s will be thrown in the Taylor v Lewis game, while the highest checkout is likely to come in the Barney v Whitlock match. I think we could see a nine-darter and I keep saying that one week we will see four draws for the first time ever. On paper, this could be the week.

back to top

Other Darts Experts:

Latest Posts in Darts:

Rod Harrington

Harrington: The best yet

Rod Harrington reflects on a thrilling World Darts Championship and reviews the Premier League picks....

Latest News RSS feeds

Anderson dominates PDC awards

World champion Gary Anderson was a four-time winner at the PDC Annual Awards Dinner in London on Thursday evening.

PDC Qualifying round-up

Magnus Caris, Nathan Derry, Jonny Clayton and Jamie Robinson all secured PDC Tour cards on the final day of Qualifying School.

Petersen earns Tour Card

Devon Petersen was among the players to win Tour Cards on day two of the 2015 PDC Qualifying School.

Nine-dart Norris wins Tour card

Alan Norris capped off his PDC Tour card-winning day with the first nine-dart finish of 2015.

Anderson: Taylor still at top

Gary Anderson says Phil Taylor will still be remembered as the greatest ever despite his defeat in the Ally Pally final.


Premier League Darts: We bring you 16 straight weeks of the finest darts action

Premier League Darts: We bring you 16 straight weeks of the finest darts action

Need more darts after the thrilling World Championship? Don’t worry, Premier League Darts begins next month and brings the world’s greatest players back to the oche and back to your television screens!

Bernard Hopkins is 50 years old this week – here are six other athletes who defied age

Bernard Hopkins is 50 years old this week – here are six other athletes who defied age

Bernard Hopkins celebrates his 50th birthday this week and can look back on a remarkable boxing career which has defied his advancing years.

PDC World Championship: The glitz and glamour from Alexandra Palace in pictures ...

PDC World Championship: The glitz and glamour from Alexandra Palace in pictures ...

We take a look at the glitz and glamour from this year's PDC World Darts Championship.