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Australasia's Best Sporting Team

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What makes a winning team?

Concept Overview

There is a continuous debate in the pubs, clubs and lounge-rooms of Australia and New Zealand as to whether great historic teams could have survived in today’s competitions, or about which football code is the best of all.

Australasia’s Best Sporting Team was designed to bring an analytical approach to answering some of these questions, and in doing so aims to start a new conversation about greatness. The aim is to reward success, whilst unearthing some hidden gems and most importantly, helping those in need.

This concept appealed to Platinum given the body of work we have done with GAIN LINE on our own team cohesion

In 2018, Platinum Asset Management, in conjunction with GAIN LINE Analytics, conducted a huge statistical analysis of 14 sports over 25 years and determined that the Crusaders rugby team, based in Christchurch, New Zealand were Australasia’s Best Sporting Team over that period.

ABST Annual Award

Starting in 2019, Platinum will present an annual award to the team that is currently at the top of its game, achieving the best outcome over the most recent rolling 5-year period. The basic principles are the same, but reflect excellence over shorter, yet still meaningful, period. The goal continues to be to help those in need, whilst recognising success.

The annual award recognises the evolving sporting landscape, the emergence of new competitions, and the rise of women’s sport. During 2019, Platinum was pleased to be involved in the FPA’s Women in Wealth initiative, presenting Giants Netball superstars, Caitlin Bassett (Australian captain) and Jo Harten (England) to advisers around Australia.


The period of observation for the 2019 award is 2015-2019. Every game in every sport in Australasia that conducts an ongoing home/away or equivalent competition that included Australian and New Zealand teams has been analysed subject to the competition meeting specific criteria. More than 8,000 individual match results are in the dataset.

To be considered for the Best Team award a team must have played in each of the last 5 seasons. For each team in the competition, their win/loss record is looked at season by season, along with their position within the competition. More recent years are weighted more highly, as is the win-loss record, over the position.

For each of these measures, a Z-Score is created to show the relative raw performance within competitions and to enable comparison across all the competitions.

An adjustment is applied to reflect the stability of the competition over the last 10 years, This places the raw performance output in context - stable competitions being harder to perform well consistently because of the impact that player trading cycles have on competitiveness.

Eligible teams, of which there are 138 are then ranked on their adjusted Z-Scores, to provide the definitive list of Australasia’s Best Sporting Teams over the period. The website contains the Top 25 overall, Top 3 by sport and Top 3 by state/country.

To be the best team in a sport over a prolonged period requires dedication, endurance, excellence and cohesion. To be the best overall, is a step beyond.


As part of the Australasia’s Best Sporting Team and the team cohesion work between Platinum Asset Management and GAIN LINE Analytics, Platinum will award A$10,000 to this year’s winning team to donate to a worthwhile cause of their choice.

$10,000 Grant

The club has elected to pass the donation to the Leukaemia Foundation via head coach Craig Bellamy and winger Sandor Earl’s participation in the World's Greatest Shave to fund vital research to help more people survive blood cancers, while improving their quality of life.

Australasia’s Best Sporting Team 2019


Melbourne Storm came into existence in 1998 as part of the newly formed National Rugby League competition.

The Club was the first ever professional Victorian rugby league club and spent little time stamping their mark, winning their maiden premiership in just their second year.

Storm have played in a total of nine grand finals during their 22-year history, missing the finals on just three occasions.

The Club has built itself on the values of family, accountability, hard work, respect and passion. It is these values that drive Melbourne Storm to succeed each and every year, both on and off the field.

Top 25

ABST originally started as a research project at GAIN LINE Analytics in trying to decipher what a truly successful team could be defined as. The inaugural award was presented to the best franchise of the last 25 years in line with the tenure of Platinum, GAIN LINE Analytics research partner. The annual award recognises the strongest franchise on a rolling five-year period.

Understanding the size and variety of the sporting landscape in Australia gives some idea of the complexity of determining the best team.

Ranking Team Name Competition Country/State ABT Score
1 Melbourne Storm NRL VIC 3.24
2 Crusaders Super Rugby NZ 2.90
3 New South Wales Breakers WNCL NSW 2.71
4 Sydney FC A-League NSW 2.46
5 Hurricanes Super Rugby NZ 2.42
6 Victoria Sheffield Shield VIC 2.34
7 Richmond Tigers AFL VIC 2.26
8 Sydney Roosters NRL NSW 2.22
9 CBR Brave AIHL ACT 2.05
10 Sydney University Lions NWPL NSW 2.04
11 West Coast Eagles AFL WA 2.02
12 Melbourne United NBL VIC 1.93
13 Perth Wildcats NBL WA 1.92
14 Brisbane Bandits ABL QLD 1.80
15 Townsville Fire WNBL QLD 1.72
16 Geelong Cats AFL VIC 1.71
17 Perth Scorchers BBL WA 1.65
18 Sydney FC W-League NSW 1.58
19 Adelaide Strikers BBL SA 1.56
20 Perth Lynx WNBL WA 1.51
21 Sydney Sirens AWIHL NSW 1.38
22 Greater Western Sydney AFL NSW 1.35
23 Melbourne Ice AWIHL VIC 1.33
24 Melbourne Victory A-League VIC 1.29
25 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks NRL NSW 1.28
  • Male
  • Female

Top 3 by sport


Melbourne United
Perth Wildcats
Townsville Fire


New South Wales Breakers
Perth Scorchers

Water Polo

Sydney University Lions (male)
Drummoyne Devils
Hunter Hurricanes


Richmond Tigers
West Coast Eagles
Geelong Cats

Ice Hockey

CBR Brave
Sydney Sirens
Melbourne Ice


Sydney FC (male)
Sydney FC (female)
Melbourne Victory


Melbourne Vixens
NSW Swifts
Queensland Firebirds

Rugby League

Melbourne Storm
Sydney Roosters
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Rugby Union



Brisbane Bandits
Canberra Cavalry
Perth Heat

Top 3 by region


CBR Brave Ice Hockey
Canberra Cavalry Baseball
Canberra Raiders Rugby League


New South Wales Breakers Cricket
Sydney FC (Male) Soccer
Sydney Roosters Rugby League


Crusaders Super Rugby
Hurricanes Super Rugby
Chiefs Super Rugby


Brisbane Bandits Baseball
Townsville Fire Basketball
Brisbane Broncos Rugby League


Adelaide Strikers Cricket
Adelaide 36ers Basketball
Adelaide Crows AFL


Melbourne Storm Rugby League
Victoria (Sheffield Shield) Cricket
Richmond Tigers AFL


West Coast Eagles AFL
Perth Wildcats Basketball
Perth Scorchers Cricket


Hobart Hurricanes Cricket
Tasmania (Sheffield Shield) Cricket
Tasmanian Roar Cricket
  • Male
  • Female

The following leagues were considered. They all currently exist and have done continuously for at least five years in a full league format (as opposed to carnival). They are stipulated to be the top tier in Australian sport.

  • AFL: Men’s Australian Football League
  • NWWPL: National Women’s Water Polo League
  • NWPL: National Water Polo League (Men’s)
  • WNCL: Women’s National Cricket League
  • AWIHL: Women’s Ice Hockey
  • AIHL: Men’s Ice Hockey
  • W-League: Women’s Football (Soccer)
  • A League: Men’s Football (Soccer)
  • WNBL: Women’s National Basketball League
  • Suncorp Super Netball: Women’s Netball League
  • NBL: Men’s Basketball
  • Sheffield Shield: Men’s Long form Cricket
  • Super Rugby: Men’s Rugby International Provincial Competition
  • NRL: National Rugby League
  • ABL: Australian Baseball League (Men’s)
  • BBL: Men’s Big Bash 2020 Cricket

Those in red did not qualify for the 25 year study in 2018.

Any teams based in NZ that have played in Australian based leagues (including Super Rugby) have been included as we felt it would be deemed unfair to discount the records of the NZ Breakers, NZ/Auckland Warriors and NZ Based Super Rugby Teams amongst others. This made it an Australasian based list, and indeed, the winner of the 25-year award in 2018, was the NZ based Crusaders.

The top 25 in 2019 contains 14 of the 16 competitions analysed and there are six women’s teams in this list of top performers. We expect this number will rise over time as the tenure stipulation has been a challenge with women’s sport exploding in recent years. There are currently 56 female franchises in our survey (41 meeting the qualifying criteria) and 115 men’s (97 qualify) The WNBL has the teams with the longest tenure in women’s sport.

More Information

Australia's Best Sporting Team

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