Connacht: Pat Lam fined for criticism of referee after defeat
Connacht coach Pat Lam has been fined £5,800 for his criticism of assistant referee Leighton Hodges following the recent Pro12 defeat by Cardiff Blues.
Lam was angered by Hodges's officiating in Connacht's 18-17 defeat on 6 March when an injury-time converted try earned Cardiff a comeback win.
Just over £3,600 of the Connacht coach's fine has been suspended.
Pro12 disciplinary chief Jon Davis said match officials had to be protected from "attacks on their character".
"If coaches or others wish to provide feedback - positive or negative - on the performance of match officials, we at Pro12 welcome that feedback, but there is a clear mechanism for providing that feedback privately," added Davis.
Lam was also issued with a written warning for a similar issue last season but has the right to appeal against the latest decision.
A Pro12 statement said Lam accepted that his actions had "constituted misconduct".
The Connacht coach has been ordered to make a contribution to the costs of the hearing - including the legal costs incurred by the disciplinary officer.
The disciplinary committee comprised of Scottish officials Rod McKenzie and Rob Flockhart.