Cape Town - The wife of South African-born Ireland flank CJ Stander has hit out at media criticism following their Rugby World Cup exit.

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Ireland came into the World Cup ranked No 1 in the World Rugby rankings, but largely flattered to deceive.

They finished second in Pool A behind Japan after losing 19-12 to the hosts and were then humbled 46-14 by New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

Top Irish scribes slammed Ireland's performance as "humiliating" and a called it a "sorry end" to New Zealander Joe Schmidt's era as head coach.

CJ Stander, 29, has played 38 Tests for Ireland and has made a single appearance for the British & Irish Lions.

Jean-Marie Stander, who is also the sister of South African Olympic gold medal-winning star Ryk Neethling, took to Twitter to share her displeasure.

She wrote: "As if it isn’t gutting enough for the players' and coaches' hard work and sacrifices over four-plus 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.

"All the incredible achievements over three years instantly overshadowed by a poor (RWC) season. 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."

In response to a South African rugby scribe who suggested CJ Stander had gone "missing" in the quarter-final against New Zealand, she wrote: "CJ with the most carries and 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 it’s too easy to say someone is missing when the whole team is under-performing."

- Compiled by Herman Mostert