Canada defeats New Zealand to advance to quarterfinals of World Cup of Darts

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SALZBURG, Austria — Canadians Jeff (The Silencer) Smith and Matt (Ginga Ninja) Campbell downed New Zealand on Saturday to reach the quarterfinals of the BetVictor World Cup of Darts.

It marks Canada's first trip to the quarterfinals since 2016. New Zealand had been hoping to reach the last eight for the second straight year.

Smith opened the tie by defeating Haupai Puha 4-1, sealing the win with a 100 finish. Campbell then rallied from a 2-0 deficit to down Cody Harris 4-2, allowing the Canadian to avoid the rubber match doubles.

"We're thrilled to win," said Smith. "To be through without having to play the doubles match is awesome and it shows what a partner I have in Matt.

"We've never been in the semifinals before but I've got a talented player alongside me. Matt can beat anybody and we'll back ourselves in the doubles if it's needed."

The unseeded Canadian upset fourth-seeded Northern Ireland 5-2 on Friday, Smith's 45th birthday.

Smith, from Hampton, N.B., is the lone Canadian currently competing on the PDC Tour. He works at an auto body shop in nearby Saint John when he is not on the pro darts circuit.

Campbell is a 31-year-old Hamilton welder who qualified for the William Hill World Darts Championship in London last December.

The 10th staging of the 32-country World Cup runs through Sunday at the Salzburgarena.

Scotland is reigning champion after claiming the 2019 title in Hamburg. But England is the top seed this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2020.

The Canadian Press