Richmond coach Damien Hardwick predicts a "hell of a finish" in the race for eighth spot, and he's urging his team to dig in and give it everything they've got.

The Tigers' finals hopes are hanging by a thread after they suffered a heartbreaking four-point loss to Fremantle in Perth on Sunday.

Richmond led by nine points with 13 minutes remaining, but a mark-of-the-year contender from Lachie Schultz turned the momentum Fremantle's way, with the Dockers going on to win 7.13 (55) to 6.15 (51).

The result left 11th-placed Richmond - premiers in three of the past four seasons - nursing an 8-11 record and six losses from their past seven games.

But with GWS, Essendon, and St Kilda also losing this round, the Tigers are just one win adrift of the eighth-placed Dockers.

08:26 Mins
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Round 20: Match highlights

Highlights of the Round 20 match against Fremantle.

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Richmond, Fremantle, GWS, Essendon, St Kilda, and Carlton have all been guilty of dropping crunch games when finals football has been in sight in recent weeks.

It means as little as 10 wins and a good percentage might be enough to snare the last finals berth this year, and Hardwick couldn't help but have a chuckle when asked about the trend of teams falling over when handed golden opportunities to take a stranglehold on eighth spot.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was left frustrated after a disappointing loss, with his team nine points clear late in the final term before back-to-back Fremantle goals.

"It sums up the year of footy from my point of view. It's been a really weird year," Hardwick said.

"It's been a fatiguing year. Sides are probably right on the edge. It's hard, it's fatiguing, but we've got to dig in.

"We can see the finish line in sight, we've just got to keep pushing up that mountain and get to where we need to go.

07:46 Mins
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Round 20: Hardwick post-match

Damien Hardwick speaks to the media following the Round 20 match against Fremantle.

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"The challenge is set for us, it's in our hands, as it is the other clubs. It's going to be one hell of a finish, there's no doubt about it."

The coach said he would wait until Tuesday to address the match with his team after a "long week" in quarantine.

"We will sit back and take a look at the game and take some time to digest what has happened," he said.

"We are still a mathematical chance so the ball is in our court, but we have to play a fair bit better than we did today."

Hardwick conceded the Tigers may have to change after losing six of their past seven games to slip from eighth to 11th.

"The game has changed, it's evolved and we have to change with it," he said.