Jacob Pace-Ruggeri bagged a brace as Lions won their first final in the Men’s Premier League. Photo: File
Jacob Pace-Ruggeri bagged a brace as Lions won their first final in the Men’s Premier League. Photo: File

Lions the team to beat says rival as Prem race hots up

JAYDEN Connor believes Lions is the team to beat in the Men's Premier League after they knocked his City Brothers side out of contention at the weekend.

Jacob Pace-Ruggeri and Liam Carey each scored a brace in Lions' statement 5-2 win over the season's biggest surprise packet, City Brothers.

Carey and Pace-Ruggeri each bagged a goal in the opening 10 minutes of Saturday night's final at Mackay Football Park to blow the game wide open.

Connor struck prior to halftime to send City Brothers into the break down 2-1, however goals to Bailey Dunbar and Carey shortly after the restart put the game beyond reach.

Pace-Ruggeri added his second at the 70-minute mark, before Connor secured his brace with a consolation goal just minutes later.

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The City Brothers vice-captain saw enough from Lions on Saturday night to declare they have the quality to go all the way.

"Lions have been in the finals for many years. They've always been a quality team," Connor said.

"I honestly think they will win it."

Magpies Crusaders progressed through to the grand final with a 4-1 win over Magpies at the weekend.

It sets up a 2019 grand final rematch between Lions and Magpies for a place in the decider.

Connor believes Magpies will struggle to unlock Lions' defence without star striker Michael Lyall, who was shown red in the loss to MCU and will miss the knockout final.

"Michael Lyall got a red card in that game so I don't think Magpies have much of a chance," Connor said.

"I reckon Lions beat Magpies in the semis and go on to win the grand final. Their team is really skilful, experienced and they have all-round great players."

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