Hawks finals hopes on edge after AFL loss

Hawthorn's yo-yo campaign has continued after they produced one of their worst displays of the season on the way to a 16-point loss to Fremantle.

The rain stayed away at Optus Stadium, but the Hawks booted just two goals in the first three quarters on the way to a 7.6 (48) to 4.8 (32) loss in front of a home crowd of 18,512.

Only a late goal to Luke Breust help Hawthorn avoid posting their lowest score under coach Alastair Clarkson.

The final margin flattered the Hawks, who were forced to defend grimly for long periods of the match and were horribly outclassed when going forward.

The Hawks lost the contested possession battle 131-117, and the overall possession count 380-281.

The defeat, which came just a week after posting a promising win over Carlton, left Hawthorn precariously-placed at 4-6 ahead of a tough clash with premiership favourites West Coast.

Fremantle are also 4-6, but are riding a wave of confidence on the back of wins over Collingwood and now Hawthorn.

The Hawks lost Isaac Smith to a shoulder injury earlier in the second quarter, while Fremantle forward Travis Colyer went down with a hamstring injury.

Star Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell battled hard for 32 disposals and eight clearances, but the Hawks simply couldn't match Fremantle's intensity.

Andrew Brayshaw (33 disposals), Nat Fyfe (28), and Adam Cerra (26) were outstanding for the Dockers, while Matt Taberner booted two goals and offered a constant target up forward.

Hawthorn were starved of possession in the opening term, with 18 of their 22 players tallying three disposals or less.

Fremantle booted three goals to one to take a 12-point lead into the first break, with Fyfe among the goalscorers.

The Dockers continued to dominate possession in the second quarter, but costly misses from Sean Darcy and Fyfe let Hawthorn off the hook.

Fremantle started to get more reward for their efforts in the third quarter, booting three unanswered goals for the term.

The lead was 28 points at the final break, and Clarkson swung James Sicily forward in a desperate bid to spark Hawthorn.

Sicily took a mark-of-the-year contender on the shoulders of Cerra to close the margin to 22 points early in the final quarter, but Breust's goal with two minutes remaining was their only other joy for the quarter.