PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats dives in a handball during the 2016 AFL Round 17 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Geelong Cats at Domain Stadium on July 15, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Each top eight side’s major concern

Five rounds left in the season and our top eight is about as close as can get. Right now, there is just one win separating the second placed Giants and the eighth placed Kangaroos.

Now that we are well and truly entrenched in the run home, let’s take a look at one big weakness for each club in the top eight.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Sam Mitchell of the Hawks and Kieren Jack of the Swans in action during the 2016 AFL Round 17 match between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on July 14, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JULY 14: Sam Mitchell of the Hawks and Kieren Jack of the Swans in action during the 2016 AFL Round 17 match between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on July 14, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hawthorn Hawks: Contested possession

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While the brilliance and experience of the Hawks leaves not too many weaknesses, there is one common denominator in each of their three losses this season, that being contested possessions.

In their losses this season to the Cats, Giants and the Swans, they have been beaten in contested possessions 475 to 389 – by almost 100. Even more concerning, the cumulative margin of these three matches is 119.

Obviously, the midfields mentioned above are three of the best (if not the best three) in the competition, so an edge in that area may be expected. But it almost certain that these are the teams they will have to beat on the road to a quartet of flags.

The Hawks are in fact 14th in the league for contested possessions, averaging just 135.9 per game. However, they have still found a way to win the majority of their games, with their immense pressure resulting in opposition turnovers.

None the less, it is still an area Clarkson will want to improve upon come Spetember.

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