Bulldogs coach Dean Pay.

NRL reduces Pay fine over referee comments

Canterbury have been successful in their appeal for a lighter sanction on coach Dean Pay for his controversial comments about the refereeing after the Bulldogs' round-nine loss to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

After he was initially slapped with a breach notice for $25,000, the NRL has announced the Dogs would be fined $15,000 with a further $10,000 suspended "if there is a repeat of the criticism against match officials".

According to an NRL statement, league officials suspended part of the penalty "based on the fact that Pay is in his first season as a head coach in the NRL and has no prior breaches. He has also acknowledged publicly that he needs to moderate his language when commenting about match officials."

A spokesman for the NRL said there had been a significant increase in club funding this year and the higher level of fines was aimed at ensuring there is an adequate deterrent against criticism of match officials.

Canterbury lost the match to the Broncos 26-24 after a penalty in the 79th minute against Bulldogs fullback Moses Mbye for impeding his opposite number Darius Boyd as the Broncos veteran was chasing the ball to score what would have been the match-winning try.

Mbye was sent to the sin bin over the incident.

Pay, in the post-match press conference, said: "I have got a group of blokes in there that have busted their arse, and to be decided like that is ridiculous.

"What do I say to them? It is like we are not supposed to win."