NRL 2021: Wife of NZ Kiwis forward Joseph Tapine slams Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart

NZ Kiwis international Joseph Tapine may face an awkward 'please explain' with Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart this week, after wife Kirsten called the NRL legend out on social media.

Considered rugby league royalty, after a 426-game playing career that included three championships with the iconic Canberra 'Green Machine', Stuart has cut a frustrated figure, as his team have lost four straight games, including a 34-20 defeat to South Sydney this week.

The latest lapse has prompted Kirsten Tapine to vent her frustrations on Instagram.

"You have an international player warming your bench for 50 minutes," she posted. "Your interchanges are killing us!!!

"Refs calls count means jak when coaching decisions are [rubbish bin emoji]."

The post was later removed.

Not for the first time this season, Stuart took aim at referees after the Rabbitohs defeat, after his side were punished in a lopsided penalty count.

"This has been happening a lot this year to us," he said. "I look like the winger, which I don't really give a shit about... being labelled the whinger."

Kirsten Tapine's Instagram post
Kirsten Tapine's Instagram post. Photo credit: Instagram/Kirsten Tapine

Stuart also blamed referee Henry Perenara for overlooking a forward pass that helped NZ Warriors rally past the Raiders last month. 

But his efforts to find the right combination in his talent-stacked roster has lead him to some puzzling selections. Tapine was dropped two weeks ago against North Queensland Cowboys and brought off the bench against Souths, along with former Kiwis Saliva Havili and Iosia Soliola.

Raiders stars Josh Hodgson and Josh Papalii were omitted altogether.  

Stuart, who won his only coaching championship with Sydney Roosters against the Warriors in 2002, has another chance to right the ship, when Canberra face fellow strugglers Newcastle Knights next Saturday.

Join us at 4pm Sunday for live updates of the Warriors v Cowboys NRL clash