Melbourne bad boy Brandon Smith says he was banished from team training and made to train alone through his three-week suspension for his NRL referee spray.
Hooker Smith called referee Adam Gee a "cheating bastard" during the Storm's 28-6 loss to Cronulla and was subsequently rubbed out for his dissent.
The 26-year-old said on Tuesday he had been forced to train away from the main squad, doing fitness for the duration of his penalty.
Smith, who will join the Sydney Roosters next season, said the alienation for suspended players wasn't the norm.
The Kiwi Test rake was in trouble in the off-season, banned for a game after he appeared in a social media video in a hotel room with white powder on the table.
He was also in hot water with the club after appearing in an expletive-laden podcast late last year.
"I think I was getting punished for not putting the team first," Smith said.
"The isolation is about making you feel guilty for your actions by taking away what you love most and for me in footy that's playing with my mates.
"They took that away from me and it sucks.
"It's been pretty hard, it's been a little grind - waking up early and training by yourself, it gets pretty boring.
"Just being able to hang out with the boys now it's like to be a little more grateful for being in a team sport."
Smith said it had been hard to watch Melbourne go through their four-game losing streak, ended with a win last round over the Warriors, without being able to contribute.
The ban also meant Smith was unable to return home to Auckland, where his family are based.
"It was extra hard watching the boys play and and lose knowing I couldn't really have an impact on what happened," he said.
"The next coming weeks are the last weeks I have here so hopefully I can go out on a good note.
"I just want to get back to playing some consistent footy."
Smith is set to be named among the reserves for Melbourne's Friday night clash with Gold Coast at AAMI Park.
"I haven't had a chance to train with them yet so I'm thinking I'll be on the bench.
"It would be hard to take someone's spot from the game that we won."