Danny Noppert has called for the PDC to implement stricter rules to combat gamesmanship, after criticising Gerwyn Price for his conduct during their first-round tussle at the World Grand Prix on Monday night.
‘Noppie’ came into this contest on the back of winning his maiden PDC title at Players Championship 20 over the weekend, but Price recorded a straight sets win over the Dutchman in a bad-tempered affair at the Citywest.
Noppert was making his debut in the double-start tournament and was visibly unhappy with Price’s conduct at points during the match, which prompted referee George Noble to intervene early in set two.
The Welshman’s exuberant celebrations were on full show and the former Lakeside finalist admitted he felt intimidated by Price, although Noppert acknowledged that he must improve the mental aspect of his game.
Speaking to Dutch Darts Station RTL7, Noppert reflected: “Gerwyn was talking everytime when he was walking back and when he stood behind me. He tried to put me off and he succeeded, I hope he is happy to win this way.
“This affected my game. He tried everything to let me play as bad as possible. I said something about it, it was very annoying.”
“The PDC has to come up with rules for this to prevent that players are talking behind your back. Maybe it’s bad of me that I was not focused enough to concentrate on my own game”, Noppert added.
Price won an edgy opening set 3-1, before Noppert incredibly drew first blood in set two with a 28-dart leg, after both players missed a plethora of darts at double. The Dutchman then took out a fine 108 to move within a leg of levelling the contest, but Price converted a nerveless 112 kill before sinking D5 to seal his progression.
However, speaking to Sky Sports following his victory, Price rebuffed any suggestions of gamesmanship on his part. The Premier League star claimed: “He said I was talking behind him but that just fired me up a little bit more and I thought ‘this is going to fire me up now’ and it did. I didn’t play very well but I won and that’s the main thing.”
Price now takes on Steve Beaton in round-two, after ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ rolled back the years to dump out world champion Rob Cross for the second straight year at the Citywest. Nevertheless, ‘The Iceman’ will be bidding to reach the quarter-finals at this event for the very first time.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC