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Two New Zealand coaches fined

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Two rugby coaches in New Zealand have been fined for their criticism of match officials.

Manawatu coach Jason O’Halloran and Wellington coach Earl Va’a have been fined for recent comments in the media criticising in the case of Va’a, the performance of referees, and in the case of O’Halloran, the assistant referees and television match officials during the 2015 ITM Cup season.

Misconduct proceedings were brought by New Zealand Rugby (NZR). Following hearings in Wellington, both coaches were found to have breached NZR Disciplinary Rules and ordered to apologise to professional referees and NZR.

O’Halloran was fined $4000 (US$2700; ZAR37000), with $2000 suspended for one year; Va’a was fined $2000 with $1000 suspended for one year, in both cases pending no further misconduct.

New Zealand Rugby general manager rugby Neil Sorensen said: “We don't condone public criticism of any referee at any level of the game in any circumstances.

“We expect high standards from our coaches. They need to lead by example so the comments by Jason and Earl were very disappointing.”

*But Greig Laidlaw who disputes referees' decisions at length was a candidate for Player of the Year.

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