GREATER Western Sydney is "not good enough to be in the eight" after missing a golden opportunity to move into the top eight in its upset loss to Hawthorn, coach Leon Cameron has conceded.

GWS lost its first three matches and suffered a horrible run with injuries in the first half of the season, but pushed its way back into finals contention with six steely wins and a draw from the next 10 games.

GIANTS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats

With the first four goals of the game against the Hawks and the round's results falling their way, the Giants looked set to move back into the top eight for just the second time this season before falling away after quarter-time.

07:48 Mins
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Highlights: GWS v Hawthorn

The Giants and Hawks clash in round 15

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"Our performance was like a few weeks ago when we played North Melbourne – our best and our worst has too much of a gap," Cameron said.

"We've sat outside the eight for most of the year. We haven't sat there and discussed it and said 'you win this game and you can put yourself in the eight'.

"The eight will be the eight, if you get there you get there, you deserve to play. Right now, with our gap still being a little bit too big with our best and our worst, we sit outside the eight for a reason.

"We're not in the eight because we're not good enough to be in the eight yet."

08:02 Mins
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'Our best and our worst has too much of a gap': Cameron

Watch GWS's press conference after round 15's match against Hawthorn

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The Hawks went into their bye with only two wins from 11 matches, but have since picked up two more victories and were still in the game at the 30-minute mark of the final term in the loss to Essendon last week.

Coach Alastair Clarkson said the Hawks had focused on improving their inside 50 differentials during their round 12 bye, especially as they had lost the count in all but one match before their week off.

The Hawks have since moved the ball into attack more than their opponents Sydney (59-50) and Essendon (50-47), and this week gave their forwards more opportunities than the Giants with 59 to 49 inside 50 entries.

07:58 Mins
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'Our fans can see the emergence of these players': Clarkson

Watch Hawthorn's press conference after round 15's match against GWS

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"We needed to fix some things up with all areas of our game, but the most significant part was just our pressure around the ball and stopping the opposition from being able to move the ball so fluently," Clarkson said.

"We needed to be a little bit smarter with our ball use so that we weren't so bold and attacking. If you go too quick sometimes you can't defend it on the rebound. We just weren't good enough to retain possession of the footy for long periods of time in our front half.

"So we corrected that and have just become a little bit more stable defensively and behind the ball. That's tipped the scale in terms of the inside 50s, we've been a lot better in the last three games."