2023 Crucible – Day 2 – Four winners, Two 146s and Ronnie about the Netflix Documentary and Snooker

Four more players booked their places in the second round yesterday

They are Neil Robertson, Luca Brecel, Jak Jones and Stuart Bingham. All detailed results are on snooker.org.

Neil Robertson beat Wu Yize, the 19 years old debutant, by 13-3 and it wasn’t a case of Wu playing badly as he had two great centuries of his own. Neil though was scarily good and scored very heavily fron start to finish. Making a 146 is a rare feat, making two in one match … well I don’t think it ever happened before. This is, of course, the current HB of the tournament. Ryan Day, who has made a 146 in the qualifiers must feel sick! Neil is now the only player to have made 147, 146 and 145 at the Crucible. In his post-match interview he asked if he has now got the complete “140+ collection” and he was devastated to learn that the 144 is missing… I’m sure that he will try to put that right ASAP.

Neil’s 146 in frame 11, shared by Eurosport on their YouTube channel.

Stuart Bingham beat David Gilbert by 10-4 from 3-1 down. I didn’t watch the match but I didn’t expect it to be that one-sided, especially considering that Gilbert had breaks of 60, 90 and 121 to lead 3-1 at the first MSI. It seems though that Gilbert is going through very difficult times both on and off the table. This is what he had to say to “the Sportsman” after the match, and it’s pretty worrying:

It is what I deserve really. I have to go and sort my life out, I have been far too big a mess for far too long. I will never be able to play snooker again the way I am. I need to go away and do a lot.

Stuart probably thinks he played really well but it was like a club player versus a decent player, I was making it far too easy for him. Unless I get into my rhythm and get going, then I am alright. If I don’t, I haven’t got it in me to pot a tricky ball or play a safety. My confidence and belief isn’t there.

I don’t know, I don’t know what is going to happen when I walk out of it, I have no idea. I miss being able to play snooker to go a good level and compete with the big boys, it is disappointing, but who knows.

I don’t even know if I will bother again, I don’t know. I don’t mean that in a bad manner, or sound arsey, I have just got far too much going on.

I don’t know when I will look at my cue again .Who knows? I might put everything back into it. I might never play again. No idea. A pivotal time in my career? No, my life. I have bigger things than snooker to think about.”

Luca Brecel beat Ricky Walden by 10-9. Luca, who in 2012 had become the youngest player to play at the Crucible, had played in the famous theatre 5 times in previous years and had never won a match. He put that right yesterday by beating Ricky Walden by 10-9 in a hard-fought contest. Ricky had trailed by 6-9 but came back to force a decider scoring breaks of 93 and 71 in the process. Luca took the match with one winning visit in the decider, a good 84. This was a difficult match for me to watch, as I know both of them personally. Luca, of course, is Belgian like me, and I want snooker to further develop in mainland Europe, but Ricky and his manager, Lee Gorton, have done a lot for me when I started taking pictures on the tour some 13 years ago.

Jak Jones beat Ali Carter by 10-6. Lewis had predicted that no debutant would win this year but Jak Jones had other ideas. Of course, Jak is not a kid, he’s 29. He’s a bit of a late developer but he’s a very, very solid player with a good temperament. This is what is needed at the Crucible. Still it’s a bit of a surprise given Ali’s experience – he’s reached the final at the Crucible twice before – and the kind of season he had, winning the German Masters and getting to the final of the Players Championship. Well done Jak!

A very honest interview here by Ronnie

This was shared by Sporting Life on their YouTube channel. Ronnie is speaking to Hector Nunns here. Hector is one of the good guys in the media room, a hard worker, a true snooker fan and someone Ronnie trusts.

In this interview, Ronnie speaks about the Netflix documentary that he should be able to watch today for the first time but will be different from what initially planned, about his life and snooker’s place in it , about his love for his sport, about his new book, Steve Peters and finding the right balance.

It’s truly endearing interview and one that didn’t and won’t get much publicity probably, unlike those given in moments when frustration and negativity took the better of him. We all have such moments, we should remember that. We all have those moments when, no matter how much we love our kids/partner/pet/job, we had enough and just want to forget about it all and flee to Mars.

This is the Ronnie I know and like.

3 thoughts on “2023 Crucible – Day 2 – Four winners, Two 146s and Ronnie about the Netflix Documentary and Snooker

  1. Funny, I was going to post a link to that same video and say that it was Ronnie in one of his charming/endearing moods…

  2. I wonder if after this Neil will stop talking about the space being too small for him to play in. I don’t shed tears for Carter, but it once again shows how the pre-Crucible form is a very flimsy indicator of later performance.

    • Neil won’t stop talking about it because it IS a real issue for some of the tallest players who like to “walk into their shot”. There were similar complaints from others as well when there were 4 tables in the main arena in York. Tables 3 and 4 were quite close to the walls. But issue or not, it didn’t stop Neil in 2010, so… when playing well enough he’s obviously able to adapt.

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