Fiery and passionate darts final between top men’s seeds

By Waimanea Nuri

Ben Robb (Te Whakatōhea, Te Whānau a Apanui), also known as The Big Rig, has won yet another national darts title,  picking up the men's singles open title in an exciting final of the New Zealand Darts Council Championships this week.

Robb and fellow New Zealand darts champion Haupai Puha went head to head again to see who would qualify to represent New Zealand at the World Darts Championship next February in the UK.

“Typically 90 percent of the tournaments this year, has been me and Haupai at the finals. We are fiery and passionate,” Robb says.

“My future wife and I always talk about how we sacrifice a good today for a better tomorrow,” he says.

The championship is being held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre and started on Sunday and goes through to Friday when the NZ darts champions will be known.

Robb and Puha also joined forces in the Canterbury men’s team, which also won the national men’s title today.

‘I got his back’

“Canterbury has a pretty good record when it comes to the region's champions. Some of the best players are from Canterbury, so we are pretty lucky in that sense,” Puha says.

“We travel around the world together and, if I can't win or succeed, I got his back,” Haupai says.

New Zealand Darts Council director Trixie Erceg says “Ben Robb is beyond his years, a fantastic darts player, a kind man, and a family man. The other best dart player in New Zealand, Haupai, is precisely the same.”

“They are just right there and the two of them are just competing against each other,” Erceg says.

“I’m normally trying to be better than Haupai but today is about being together as a collective. That’s what’s different. I’m usually trying to beat him but I want to make him the best he can be,” Robb says.

Public Interest Journalism, funded through NZ On Air