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Pat Lam tears into last night's officials, gives greatest ever Pro12 interview in the process

The Connacht coach felt touch judge Leighton Hodges cost his side a win in Cardiff.

Lam says he will lodge a formal complaint over the late decision.
Lam says he will lodge a formal complaint over the late decision.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT WERE BEATEN at the death in Cardiff last night, as a late try put a hefty dent in their Pro12 top six ambitions.

The home side crossed the line in injury time but Pat Lam isn’t satisfied with the level of officiating late on in the 18-17 loss.

Lam was furious with the decision of touch judge Leighton Hodges to call hands in the ruck in the 83rd minute when it appeared that a Cardiff player had knocked on, which would have seen the westerners secure a 17-11 victory.

After the game, Lam spoke to Rob Murphy of Knockon.ie, and with the aid of a laptop he explained exactly how he felt Connacht had been let down by the officials.

“I’m extremely gutted and disappointed and there is a changing room there that deserved more,” Lam said.

“That last play of the game, I spoke to the referee straight afterwards because I was extremely disappointed. The biggest call that we are absolutely gutted by is the fact that here at 83.27, Cardiff clearly knock the ball on, there is no ruck and our hooker picks the ball up and clears. It is game over and the referee is about to blow it up and Leighton Hodges the touch judge says hands in the ruck. A – there is no ruck and B – he knocked the ball on. He is 30 metres away, the ref is one metre away. That is a massive call and the game should be over and finished.”

Lam went on to say he will lodge a former complaint with referee chief Ed Morrison about Hodges’ decision.

The Connacht boss stressed that he wasn’t merely making a knee-jerk reaction to a defeat.

“All I want to talk about here is facts, not opinion,” Lam said.

“That is pretty clear.”

Lam then said that he hopes Hodges is taken off the Munster v Connacht game in three weeks time, which he is currently down to officiate.

You can listen to the full interview here.

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