Injured Greater Western Sydney player Brid Stack was beside herself with anger and broke down in tears upon learning Adelaide star Ebony Marinoff's three-match AFLW ban had been overturned.
Irishwoman Stack suffered a fractured neck in an incident with Marinoff during a practice match two weeks ago.
Two-time premiership player Marinoff was suspended for three games - a third of the nine-round season - but that ban was wiped out during a near four-hour appeal hearing on Thursday night.
Stack, who will be in a neck brace for up to six weeks, has revealed she has been struggling to process the tribunal verdict.
"The news came up on a strapline across the bottom of the screen at the end of the third quarter (of the Carlton-Collingwood game) that Marinoff had been cleared. My heart just sank. I broke down in tears," she wrote for the Irish Examiner.
"Within minutes, my teammate Cora Staunton, Alicia (Eva), the team captain, and our head coach Alan McConnell, were in the apartment, trying to console me.
"I was beside myself with anger. Disillusionment. I felt so totally disheartened by the outcome.
"My emotions almost felt trapped in this vortex of disbelief because I suddenly felt like a scapegoat.
"The emotional trauma of dealing with such a serious injury was exacerbated when the blame for what had happened suddenly seemed to be sitting at my door.
"It can be hard enough to sleep anyway with a neck brace but the tribunal decision turned the noise in my head up to maximum volume.
"I didn't want Marinoff to be hammered for the incident, but I wanted the tribunal's decision to at least reflect that she didn't show any duty of care to me. The outcome just triggered an emotional war in my head."
Despite the major setback, Stack, a mother-of-one, is still determined to make her AFLW debut this season and is hopeful of recovering quicker once she returns to Sydney after the Giants were forced to relocate outside of NSW.
The 34-year-old says she has received good support from other Irish footballers, including the Sydney Swans' Colin O'Riordan and former Carlton tall Setanta O hAilpin.
The Giants battled hard in their season-opener against premiership fancies Fremantle, but were overpowered by 2020's only unbeaten side.
The Brisbane Lions took care of Richmond at Punt Rd oval, while North Melbourne embarrassed Geelong by 62 points in Sunday's other AFLW games.