Van Gerwen tears into darts rival for ‘milking his walk-on’ and makes him pay

Michael van Gerwen served up a harsh assessment of his fellow darts competitor moments after thrashing him at the US Darts Masters.

The three-time world champion was in fine form at the event in New York, having limped out of last week’s Premier League play-offs.

Van Gerwen was paired against Danny Lauby in the first round, but the American proved no match for the Green Machine.

Waltzing to a 6-1 victory against Lauby, MVG was quick to criticise the 31-year-old tour cardholder.

Speaking after the win, Lauby said: “He didn’t show it, he can do a lot better than he showed tonight and we all know that.

“But you have to do it on the stage. He doesn’t have a lot of experience on the stage.

“He was milking his walk-on and trying to do anything in his probability to enjoy every moment and fair play to him. But he was not good enough.”

Van Gerwen made him pay with the dominant win – a result that has set up a second-round meeting with world No.6 Rob Cross.

Previewing that clash, Van Gerwen added: “It’s always really nice to be back but the performance wasn’t there really.

“I felt really comfortable when I was practicing but on the stage, you just want to get the first round out the way. Tomorrow we’re going to battle with the big boys.”

Before later adding: “Today I wasn’t really playing well, it has to be a lot better but more importantly I am through to the next round.

“Rob is a fantastic darts player and he is probably one of the most underestimated players on the tour. We’re going to see but tomorrow is a different day.”

It was a relatively routine afternoon for the top seeds, with just one shock result coming from the first round of action.

Michael Smith succumbed to a surprise 6-1 loss against Jeff Smith, with the Canadian’s prize a brutal second-round meeting with Luke Littler.

The teen was in typically impressive form, as Littler blitzed past David Cameron with a 6-0 whitewash – a match that lasted less than 10 minutes.

Elsewhere, Premier League duo Luke Humphries and Nathan Aspinall will meet at the last eight stage.

Gerwyn Price has been dealt a quarter-final clash against two-time world champion Peter Wright.

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