Shaun Murphy hits back at Ronnie O’Sullivan over cue taunt

The world No.6 tried a new tactic at last week's Northern Ireland Open.

Shaun Murphy hits back at Ronnie O’Sullivan over cue taunt
Shaun Murphy used two different cues at last week's Northern Ireland Open
Shaun Murphy used two different cues at last week’s Northern Ireland Open (Picture: Getty)

Shaun Murphy has hit back at Ronnie O’Sullivan after he criticised his rival for using two different cues during last week’s Northern Ireland Open.

The world No.7 attempted a new tactic in his fourth round clash with Chris Wakelin by reaching for a second cue in a match he ultimately lost 4-2.

That shock defeat prompted a typically stinging response from O’Sullivan who mocked Murphy over his unsuccessful experiment.

‘Have three cues if you’re winning, but when you keep getting pumped it don’t look good, does it?’ quipped O’Sullivan.

‘So start winning some matches before you start doing that.’

The two snooker veterans have rarely seen eye-to-eye over the course of their illustrious and trophy-laden careers and Murphy admits he was left questioning the Rocket’s humour.

‘First and foremost, let me put this out there. I can take a joke as much as the next person,’ Shaun Murphy said on The Onefourseven Snooker podcast.

Ronnie O'Sullivan couldn't resist a cheeky dig at Shaun Murphy following his Northern Ireland Open defeat
Ronnie O’Sullivan couldn’t resist a cheeky dig at Shaun Murphy following his Northern Ireland Open defeat (Picture: Getty)

‘I love having a bit of craic with everyone, and if you’re going to give it, you’ve got to be able to take it.

‘But I didn’t get it, I didn’t understand what the joke was. I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot.

‘I didn’t understand what he meant. Because as you’ve said, I won three or four matches last week in Belfast – I’d taken multiple cues into the arena every time I walked out to play.

Shaun Murphy's run at the Northern Ireland Open was ended by Chris Wakelin
Shaun Murphy’s run at the Northern Ireland Open was ended by Chris Wakelin (Picture: Getty)

‘Anyone who understands what I’m trying to do at the moment understands that it’s only towards the end of the event that I’m going to need the second cue, as conditions deteriorate.

‘So when was I meant to do it? Jokes are fine, I hope he remembers who started it when it all goes wrong in the future.

‘Because unless you’ve been living under a rock for 20 years, you will know that we’re not the best of friends.

‘So I hope he remembers who started it, but I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand it.

‘I’m happy to take a joke, but I’ve a few shots of my own to take. There’ll come a time when I get a chance to make a little cheap shot at Ronnie’s expense.

‘And do you know what? I’ll probably take it after that. Remember this Ron – if you’re going to tell jokes, they have to be funny.

‘They have to make sense. Otherwise you just look silly.’