CULCAIRN lived up to the hype of being a genuine premiership threat with a confidence-building, seven-point victory over Brock-Burrum at Culcairn on Saturday.
The Lions were widely touted to be the league's big improvers.
They haven't disappointed in the opening rounds after a narrow loss to Osborne last week and now stunning last year's premiers.
After an even first-quarter the visitors let the home side off the hook in the second term when they wasted several opportunities.
Man mountain Matt Seiter, Luke Schilg and Mitch Koschitzke created plenty of opportunities for the Saints' forwards who were wasteful in front of goal to finish the term with 3.8
The Lions also wasted their limited opportunities to kick 1.3 but could consider themselves fortunate to be only trialing by two goals at the main break.
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Culcairn lifted their work rate in the third-quarter with Zach Mona providing plenty of rebound in defence.
Classy trio Jye Shields, Tim Haines and Dane Hallinan also picked up plenty of quality touches in the midfield as the Lions booted four goals to one to lead by six points at the final change.
Saints recruit Willson Mack had the chance to level the scores after the siren but missed an easy opportunity.
Hallinan handed the Lions the perfect start to the final term when he snapped a clever goal from the pocket in the opening minute.
Rutherglen recruit Tyson Neander got the quick reply with a classy goal from 50m.
It was Neander who was in the thick of the action again shortly after as he set up Ben Vile who slashed the margin to two points.
With the match up for grabs it was Hallinan who bobbed up for the Lions when they needed him most.
Hallinan soared over a big pack in the goal square to take a mark-of-the-year contender.
Most importantly he converted to give the Lions an eight point lead.
Goals in quick succession to Isovaine Huddlestone and Adam Prior put the match beyond the reach of the Saints.
Lions coach Josh Hillary was glowing in his praise of his charges second-half against the defending premier.
"We will take a lot of confidence out of that for sure," Hillary said.
"Brock-Burrum have won four of the last six flags and are the powerhouse of the league.
"We know we are heading in the right direction but need to minimise our lapses like we had in the second quarter.
"We feel we can be a contender and this is the first step towards that."
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