Wednesday 15 June 2022

Another quick rankings update and some brief World Cup thoughts

Scott Williams binked a title. Wait what?

New FRH rankings:

1 Peter Wright
2 Gerwyn Price
3 Michael Smith
4 Michael van Gerwen
5 James Wade
6 Rob Cross
7 Jonny Clayton
8 Luke Humphries
9 Danny Noppert
10 Jose de Sousa
11 Gary Anderson
12 Ryan Searle
13 Joe Cullen
14 Dimitri van den Bergh
15 Dirk van Duijvenbode (UP 2)
16 Nathan Aspinall (UP 2)
17 Damon Heta (DOWN 1)
18 Krzysztof Ratajski (DOWN 3)
19 Dave Chisnall
20 Callan Rydz

Bit of an unfortunate set for Ratajski, he didn't actually play bad and made a quarter, but just had two finalists right behind him, as well as Heta accumulating a bit more. Smith extends his lead over van Gerwen with his bink, he now looks to be within a Matchplay bink of getting past Price, although that'd involve getting a big monkey off his back. His current seeding is pretty good to make a deep run though... Williams hits #82 after his bink, scanning through other performers in the lower echelons, Dobey had a good weekend and climbs to just outside the top 25, Huybrechts is real close to getting back in the top 30 and may get there by the next Euro Tour with White not having done much recently, Keane Barry is getting closer to the top 32, Martin Lukeman's cracked the top 60, Durrant is now out of the top 50, Hendo's had a first good spell in a while to stay in the top 80, Josh Rock made a semi and is up to 88, while new card holder John O'Shea is up into the top 100.

World Cup starts tomorrow. Don't think it's anywhere near the best lineup they could do, but we have what we have, it's always useful to see where some of the more fringe players are at, let's quickly go through the draw:

England/Czechia - Sedlacek and Gawlas (despite Karel not looking great these past couple of days) would be very live against most teams, but despite England not having anywhere near their best lineup (Smith is arguable, Wade not so much), they've got a real tough ask.

Latvia/Hungary - Should be Razma's to lose this one. His partner doesn't feel like he's much weaker than either of the Hungarians, it's a bit of an odd lineup from them.

Scotland/Hong Kong - Wright just needs to stay steady I think. Hendo as mentioned above got a few results and clearly loves the format, it's a weird lineup from Hong Kong with no Lam or Leung (the latter certainly couldn't play the qualifiers). Easy to call I think.

Portugal/Italy - Think this is easy to call. de Sousa's not playing his best and his partner's always a bit of a rando, but Italy look the worst team in the tournament on paper (how France didn't get in ahead of them is beyond me) and I can't see them seriously challenging.

Belgium/Japan - Appears easy as well. Dimitri and Kim are going to be a super tough pairing to beat by anyone, and this doesn't look like Japan's strongest lineup by any stretch (FDI says it's Japan's #8 and #13 lol) and they are all surely lacking match practice.

Poland/USA - Could be interesting. Ratajski and Bialecki could be an interesting mix of youth and experience, USA have gone with their card holders, would think Poland will take it though as Ratajski seems clearly stronger than either and Bialecki feels stronger than at least van Dongen.

Australia/Lithuania - One sided again. Heta is playing at an elite level and Whitlock isn't going to make many mistakes. Labanauskas is admittedly out of form, and there's a fair drop off in quality to Barauskas.

Sweden/South Africa - Intriguing. Two years ago you'd think Petersen would carry SA to the win, but then the last two years happened, his partner is unknown really, Larsson and Engstrom have got a lot of matches under their belt and may well nick this.

Wales/Philippines - The Welsh are surely tournament favourites, I don't think any team has one player as good as Price or Clayton, so to have them both, oh wow. Ilagan will throw alright and I'd punt that the other guy isn't going to be too bad, but this is just too hard a draw. Chuck in peak Malicdem and it'd have been interesting.

Austria/Finland - Austria are going with Suljovic and Rowby which looks to be their strongest pairing, and both seem to be playing solidly better than either Kantele or his partner, who's a little bit of a weird selection given the number of options they have. Can't see whoever they'd pick as an alternative would have much of a chance though.

Germany/Spain - Going to be weird seeing a team without Hopp, but Clemens/Schindler is their best pairing, and you'd argue to pick Hempel over Hopp. Spain roll with Justicia and Martinez, they'll play solidly enough and could potentially cause an upset if Schindler doesn't produce, as Clemens isn't exactly in the greatest form he's ever had.

Denmark/Singapore - Maybe the hardest game to call so far, Lim/Lim have all the experience in the world, and Anderson/Jorgenson aren't the strongest pairing that they could have come up against, Vladimir's not done a great deal and Andreas seems nothing more than steady. Probably the game to watch.

Netherlands/Brazil - Danny and Dirk give us a new look Dutch lineup with van Gerwen resting up an injury, but that's not a bad pairing to have who'll easily have way too much for Portela and someone else.

Ireland/Canada - This one might also be pretty tight, and maybe a better watch than the game two above. O'Connor and Lennon seem fairly similar and neither are going to do a great deal wrong, while Smith and Campbell have both finalled Pro Tours and can play up to their level. The Irish maybe have the slight edge, but could see this one going either way.

Northern Ireland/Gibraltar - Gurney and Dolan pick themselves, neither are going to be spectacular but neither are going to fuck anything up either, so it's hard to see how Hewitt (nice to see him selected) and Galliano will get much change out of this one.

New Zealand/Switzerland - Good to see two returning teams here. New Zealand go with Robb and Parry - not really sure what the situation with Cody Harris is, seemingly not played since 2020, but we know what we're going to get with those selected, Switzerland go with the expected lineup of Bellmont and Junghans, who we've seen on the secondary and European Tours a fair bit and I think are worthy of a spot. This bottom half of the draw's got a fair few interesting games, and this is another.

Overall underwhelmed. Pairs does not help at all. If, as suggested previously, the first round was 25-40 with an expanded lineup, it would be a lot, lot more interesting than these are. Oh well.

No comments:

Post a Comment