MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Joel Selwood of the Cats is tackled by Dustin Martin (left) and Josh Caddy of the Tigers during the 2018 AFL round 20 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 03, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Tigers are sitting on top of the AFL ladder with three rounds to play and almost have the minor premiership locked up, but David King believes they still have a major flaw in their game.

Richmond were beaten in the clearances 47-40 on Friday night, and are the second-worst clearance side in the league, with the Saints the only side below them on the clearance ladder.

“I think the clearance game is such a problem for Damien Hardwick right now, it’s like playing tennis and always returning serve,” King told SEN’s Crunch Time on Saturday morning.

The Tigers were beaten out of the middle time and time again during the last quarter of their gritty three-point win over the Cats, and it could be a source of their downfall if they don’t fix the issue soon.

However, Richmond midfielder Kane Lambert isn’t overly worried about their clearance numbers, suggesting they’re losing the clearances that aren’t as damaging as the ones they’re winning.

“I think it’s been a little bit of a problem for us, our clearances throughout the year, so I’m sure that’s something we’ll look out for and hope to rectify during the week,” Lambert said.

“The clearances that we’re losing, they’re not coming out the front door so to speak, they’re pretty ‘dirty’ balls and more than often.

“We’d rather win the clearance ourselves, but if we’re going to give up clearances we want to make sure they’re ‘dirty’ ones.

“It’s something we need to rectify because clearances and contested ball come crunch time of the year is crucial. It’s something we’re trying to fix.”