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Where it's 'Stat': Hawks miss the mark

R9: Highlights - Lions v Hawks Check out the highlights from the Hawks loss to the Lions in Round 9.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: Harris Andrews of the Lions marks the ball during the 2018 AFL round nine match between the Brisbane Lions and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Gabba on May 20, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Andrews hurt the Hawks with four contested marks.

A key area where the Brisbane Lions were able to gain an ascendancy over Hawthorn on Sunday night was in their aerial supremacy. 

The Lions patrolled the air against the Hawks, pulling down 15 contested marks to the Hawks’ four. 

Neither side have been strong in the statistic this season, with the Lions ranking 13th and the Hawks 16th, but it was the Lions’ season-high 15 grabs that proved a difference on the night. 

Read: Match report - Hawthorn v Brisbane

Defender Harris Andrews led the way for the Lions with a game-high four contested marks to go along with his game-high 16 one-percenters.

Andrews at times seemed an impenetrable defensive force on Sunday night, as he cut off countless Hawthorn forward forays.

But he wasn’t alone, seven of his teammates also recorded a contested mark.

Whereas Ben McEvoy (two), Jack Gunston (one) and Blake Hardwick (one) were the only Hawks to take a contested mark. 

McEvoy is the Hawks’ number one man in the area in 2018, averaging 1.6 per game. 

The Lions were also able to generate marks inside 50, taking 14 marks inside their attacking zone to the Hawks’ five. 

Unlike contested marking, this has been an area of dominance for the Hawks this year, ranking second across the competition ahead of Round 9. 

But, due to a combination of pressure on the ball carrier and stingy defence, the Lions restricted the Hawks’ set-shot opportunities, another strength of the Hawks who rank first across the league for goal kicking accuracy. 

On another note, Tom Mitchell was outstanding against the Lions, collecting 46 disposals, 10 clearances, four tackles and a goal. 

It marked the fifth occasion this year that the 24-year old has gathered 40 or more possessions.

Mitchell is leading the competition for disposals this season, averaging 35.4 per game. 

The next four highest disposal getters in 2018, Jack Macrae, Rory Laird, Lachie Neale and Steele Sidebottom, have recorded five 40-disposal games between them.

Read: Five talking points - Round 9

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs