Ronnie O’Sullivan’s brutal put-down of young snooker talent during incredible rant

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Ronnie O’Sullivan reckons the old guard of the ‘Class of 92’ are putting snooker’s young guns to shame.

The Rocket beat China’s No1 Ding Junhui 13-10 at the Crucible last night to keep hopes alive of a first world title for seven years.

Five-time champion O’Sullivan, 44, was pushed hard by this season’s UK Championship winner but became the fifth former winner into the last eight.

And he now faces three-time champion and world No3 Mark Williams, 45, who like O’Sullivan turned professional; 28 years ago along with John Higgins.

Breaks of 61, 60, 101, 90, 89, 73, 87, 73, 60, 117 and 93 were enough for O’Sullivan to avenge defeats by Ding in Sheffield three years ago and at this season’s UK Championship.

O’Sullivan said: “Would I have believed in 1992 Mark and I would still be playing in these matches? Probably no. But when you look at the standard of play, then yes.

“If you look at me and Mark and John, the younger players coming through…they’re not that good really. Most of them might do okay as half decent amateurs.

“They are so bad, a lot of them I think ‘You’d have to lose an arm and a leg to fall outside the top 50’. That’s maybe why we are still hovering around!

“I spoke to Steve Peters – when I go out there my mind is clear, focused on the job. In a Buddhist way, it’s being present.

“It’s a different experience this year, but it’s so much easier to get in and out of the venue.

“Normally that’s why I don’t like this tournament, it’s such a headache, getting in and out. I am virtually spending most of my time here running away from people, trying to escape.

“You want to play snooker and the situation has allowed people to get on with their job, and not play hide and seek.

“Listen, of course it’s better with fans, of course, it’s like playing in a morgue, but it’s also like a village feel, and the players are more relaxed.

“For top players it can be a nightmare. It puts you off wanting to come here, I’d rather go and play in Crawley – that’s had bad it is.”

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