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Australasia's Best Sporting Team

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What makes a winning team?

Concept Overview

Australasia’s Best Sporting Team was designed to bring an analytical approach to answering questions like whether great historic teams could have survived in today’s competitions, or about which football code is the best of all. In doing so it 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.

The 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

Since 2019, Platinum has presented an annual award to the team that is 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, periods. 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.

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 2020 Rank Team Name Competition Country/State ABT Score
1 3 Sydney FC A-League (M) NSW 3.36
2 2 Crusaders Super Rugby NZ 3.34
3 22 Sydney Sixers BBL NSW 3.00
4 1 Melbourne Storm NRL VIC 2.85
5 24 Sydney FC A-League (W) NSW 2.41
6 10 Perth Wildcats NBL WA 2.39
7 7 Geelong Cats AFL VIC 2.30
8 4 New South Wales Breakers WNCL NSW 2.29
9 - Melbourne United NBL VIC 2.29
10 20 Penrith Panthers NRL NSW 2.17
11 - Port Adelaide AFL SA 2.08
12 13 Brisbane Heat WBBL QLD 2.05
13 - Melbourne City A-League (M) VIC 2.00
14 - Melbourne Aces ABL VIC 1.95
15 16 Sydney Sirens AWIHL (2020) NSW 1.90
16 - Southside Flyers WNBL VIC 1.80
17 19 Sydney Roosters NRL NSW 1.75
18 - Queensland Fire WNCL QLD 1.72
19 - Sunshine Coast Lightning Netball QLD 1.70
20 - Melbourne Demons AFLW VIC 1.68
21 - South Sydney Rabitohs NRL NSW 1.62
22 - Adelaide Crows AFLW SA 1.58
23 5 Richmond Tigers AFL VIC 1.57
24 - Brisbane Lions AFLW QLD 1.43
25 - Dire Wolves LCO/esports NZ 1.43
  • Male
  • Female


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 chosen to support the Sydney FC Foundation, which seeks to meaningfully connect with our Sky Blue community and enrich the lives of young people through the power of football and education. The grant will specifically go towards the Foundation’s community pillar and support the Sydney FC Powerchair football team.

Powerchair football is a modified version of football for people with physical disabilities and utilising electric wheelchairs.

Australasia’s Best Sporting Team 2021

Winners Winners

Sydney FC are Australia’s most successful football club as the only club in Australian National League history to have won five men's championships.

Formed in 2004, the Sky Blues, as they're commonly known, wasted no time in winning trophies, taking out the inaugural A-League Championship. Since then the club has taken out 25 trophies across its 16 year history across A-League Men, Women, Youth and E-League, plus FFA Cup and the Oceania Football Championship.

Sydney FC is built on a values of community, professionalism, leadership, passion, respect and family, and the club are entertainers and educators striving to bring the joy of football to all Australians.


The period of observation for the 2021 award is 2017-2021. Every game in every sport in Australasia that conducts an ongoing home/away or equivalent competition that included Australian teams has been analysed subject to the competition meeting specific criteria. Almost 8,000 individual match results are in the dataset, including almost 1400 from the 2021 seasons.

To be considered for the award a team must have played in each of the last 5 seasons. For each team in each competition, their win/loss record is looked at season by season, along with their competition position. More recent years are weighted more highly. Win-loss record weights higher than position. This recognises consistency over seasons as opposed to the one-off nature of finals.

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 reflects competition stability over the last 10 years to place performance in context. Stable competitions are harder to perform well in consistently as player trading cycles impact on competitiveness.

139 eligible teams are ranked by adjusted Z-Scores, producing a definitive list of Australasia’s Best Sporting Teams over the period.

This 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.

Top 3 by sport

Australian Rules Football

Geelong Cats
Port Adelaide
Melbourne Demons


Melbourne Aces
Perth Heat
Adelaide Giants


Perth Wildcats
Melbourne United
Southside Flyers


Sydney Sixers
New South Wales Breakers
Brisbane Heat


Dire Wolves
Chiefs Esports Club
Legacy Esports


Sydney FC (male)
Sydney FC (female)
Melbourne City (female)

Ice Hockey

Sydney Sirens
Melbourne Ice
Perth Inferno


Sunshine Coast Lightning
Sydney Swifts
Giants Netball

Rugby League

Melbourne Storm
Penrith Panthers
Sydney Roosters

Rugby Union


Top 3 by region


University of Canberra Capitals Basketball
Brumbies Rugby Union
Canberra Raiders Rugby League


Sydney FC Football
Sydney Sixers Cricket
Sydney FC Football


Crusaders Rugby Union
Dire Wolves eSports
Hurricanes Rugby Union


Brisbane Heat Cricket
Queensland Fire Cricket
Sunshine Coast Lighning Netball


Port Adelaide Australian Rules
Adelaide Crows Australian Rules
Adelaide Giants Baseball


Melbourne Storm Rugby League
Geelong Cats Australian Rules
Melbourne United Basketball


Perth Wildcats Basketball
Freemantle Dockers Australian Rules
Perth Heat Baseball


Hobart Hurricanes Cricket
Tasmania 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. Any NZ-based teams playing in combined Australia/NZ leagues (such as Super Rugby and NRL) are included, thus creating an Australasian based ranking. The winner of the 25-year award in 2018, was the NZ based Crusaders (Rugby Union).

  • AFL: Men’s Australian Football League
  • AFLW: Women’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
  • A-League (W): Women’s Football (Football)
  • A League (M): Men’s Football (Football)
  • WNBL: Women’s National Basketball League
  • 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 Cricket
  • WBBL: Women’s Big Bash Cricket
  • LCO: League of Legends Circuit Oceania (was Oceanic Pro League)

Bold was new in 2021. Those in red did not qualify for the 25 year study in 2018. Those in italics were removed in 2021 rankings due to COVID.

The top 25 in 2021 contains 15 of the 16 competitions analysed and there are ten women’s teams in this list of top performers. As previously forecast, this number has grown in recent years, with women’s sport exploding in recent years as it has become increasingly mainstream, and commercially visible. There are currently 59 female franchises in our survey (53 meeting the qualifying criteria) and 95 men’s (82 qualify). The WNBL has the teams with the longest tenure in women’s sport. Due to the impacts of COVID on removing two years competitions, Water Polo, and Men’s Ice Hockey were temporarily removed from the survey. For the former, this year’s competition was used to prepare for the Olympics. For Women’s Ice Hockey, the 2020 score was frozen.

  1. Sydney FC (Men) - The winners of ABST were A-League Men’s Premiers in 2017, 2018 and 2020 and runners-up in 2019 and 2021, going on to be crowned Champions in the Finals series of 2017, 2019, 2020 and runners up in 2021.
  2. The Crusaders - the winners of the 25-year ABST in 2018, won a hat-trick of Super Rugby titles in 2017-19, the Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020 and 2021, and finished third in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.
  3. Sydney Sixers – the team has been on a path of improvement, progressively finishing 3rd then 2nd then 1st on the ladder in the last three years, and being crowned Champions in both 2020 and 2021, after being runners-up in 2017.
  4. Melbourne Storm – winners of ABST in 2019 and 2020, were NRL Minor Premiers in 2017, 2019 and 2021, and runners-up in 2018 and 2020, going on to be crowned Premiers after the 2017 and 2020, and losing Grand Finalists in 2018.
  5. Sydney FC (Women) – 2021’s Premiers were runners up in 2018, and third in 2017,2019 and 2020, going on to be crowned Champions in 2019 and Runners-Up in the Grand Finals of 2018, 2020 and 2021.

Results based on all competitions completed by 20 November 2021.

More Information

Australia's Best Sporting Team

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