Phil Haigh ✍️
Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan left the blame with the referee after a strange incident at the Welsh Open which saw Robertson clearly foul and nothing called.
It was early in the Australian’s last 32 clash with Graeme Dott as he used the swan neck to try and play a safety shot on the black over the pack of reds.
The Masters champion clearly hit a red with the white ball, so much so it knocked into and moved another of the reds before hitting the black.
No foul was called by referee Andy Yates or the marker for the match, nor did Robertson declare a foul on himself, with commentators Dave Hendon and Alan McManus baffled by the situation.
McManus called the foul, with Hendon adding: ‘It was definitely a foul. He hit a red but the points have not gone on.
‘The referee did not spot it. It is his job to, it is not the players’ job to be watching.
‘The thing about it, there is also a marker who has a monitor but also listens to the commentary. So they can intervene, to assist the referee.’
O’Sullivan was in the Eurosport studio with Robertson after the Thunder from Down Under won the game 4-1 and said the Aussie would be ‘mortified’ by suggestions he knew he fouled and didn’t admit it.
‘You’re going to be mortified by this because apparently you didn’t know that you hit the red here, everyone on social media is going on.
‘If you knew, you’d be mortified to think that people think you knew that you’d fouled.
‘Neil’s no idea. It’s the ref’s fault, of course it’s the ref’s fault! He’s there to do a job and he’s not paying enough attention.’
Robertson laughed off any suggestion that he knew he fouled, explaining how it is difficult to see what is happening when using the swan neck over the pack of reds, but saying there was no excuse for the referee not to spot the foul.
‘I couldn’t even see. That’s a shocker from the ref!’ Robertson said. ‘When I was playing it with the swan neck, you know when you can’t see?
‘I had no idea. The ref was right behind it. I couldn’t see.’
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