Ireland star CJ Stander's wife has hit back at media coverage of the team's Rugby World Cup exit, labelling it as "disrespectful".
Suffering a 46-14 quarter-finals defeat to the All Blacks, Ireland were knocked out of the tournament over the weekend.
Their decisive loss wasn't received well, with leading Irish rugby writers slamming it as "humiliating" and a "sorry end" to Joe Schmidt's era as head coach.
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"They have enjoyed great success under the departing head coach, but when it mattered most they gave a performance that will haunt them for the rest of their days," The Irish Independent's Ruaidhri O'Connor wrote, while the42.ie writer Murray Kinsella said the Irish side will leave the World Cup "embarrassed".
But Jean-Marié Stander has since taken to Twitter to express her frustration over the coverage.
"Athletes don't go out trying to under-perform, they're human and with that comes failure. I suppose it's too much for some to understand the demands of performing at such high levels consistently," she wrote on Monday.
"As if it isn't gutting enough for the players' & coaches' hard work & sacrifices over 4+ years not to be reflected in their overall performance this year... I find the media reaction from "our very own" quite disrespectful... talk about kicking someone when they're down."
In response to criticism of her husband CJ during Saturday's game, she hit back at one fan who suggested he had gone "missing".
"CJ with the most carries & second most metres made of the Irish team. Most tackles (of everyone on the pitch) made with none missed ?! Given it doesn't show on the scoreboard but its too easy to say someone is missing when the whole team is underperforming," she replied.
CJ started four games for Ireland at the Rugby World Cup, more than would have been expected due to injuries in the backrow. He also came off the bench against Russia.
Meanwhile, the All Blacks have lined up a semifinals clash with England while South Africa will play Wales this weekend to determine who makes the World Cup grand final.