Gain Line Analytics director and former Wallabies prop Ben Darwin said the analysis, which looked at 8210 individual matches over 138 teams, said the study looked to determine which side was the most “stable”.
“It’s about running a club in a good manner, and one of the things we focus on is clubs that develop instead of buying the answer,” he said. “You can either have a short-term fix or long-term success.”
“The Storms and Crusaders, they have an internal focus on how they recruit.”
Next on the list was another New Zealand Super Rugby outfit, the Hurricanes, in fifth with Victoria’s Sheffield Shield side sixth. The first AFL club on the list, 2017 and 2019 premiers Richmond, came in seventh.
Sydney Roosters were the second NRL side on the list, coming in eighth, with the Cronulla Sharks also made the list in 25th spot.
Darwin said the most successful sides were those that had “good governance”, with outlooks that stretched beyond the current season.
“You’ve got to move beyond self-interest,” he said. “Short-term thinking has huge ramifications for clubs.”
The year differs from last year’s inaugural analysis, which looked at the past 25 years. In trimming down the sample period to the past five years, Gain Line has been able to add A-League and Big Bash sides.
The top 25 includes a variety of sports – both women’s and men’s – including water polo, baseball and ice hockey.
“We wanted to shine a light on teams that normally don’t of a lot of attention,” Darwin said. “Just because they don’t get attention doesn’t mean they’re not excellent.”
As a result of the study, the Melbourne Storm were on Wednesday presented with the opportunity to make a donation to a charity. The club chose to donate to the Leukaemia Foundation in parallel with coach Craig Bellamy and winger Sandor Earl’s participation in the world’s greatest shave.
Australasia’s top 25 sporting teams
- Melbourne Storm (NRL)
- Crusaders (Super Rugby)
- New South Wales Breakers (WNCL)
- Sydney FC (A-League)
- Hurricanes (Super Rugby)
- Victoria (Sheffield Shield)
- Richmond Tigers (AFL)
- Sydney Roosters (NRL)
- CBR Brave (Australian Ice Hockey League)
- Sydney University Lions (National Water Polo League)
- West Coast Eagles (AFL)
- Melbourne United (NBL)
- Perth Wildcats (NBL)
- Brisbane Bandits (Australian Baseball League)
- Townsville Fire (WNBL)
- Geelong Cats (AFL)
- Perth Scorchers (BBL)
- Sydney FC (W-League)
- Adelaide Strikers (BBL)
- Perth Lynx (WNBL)
- Sydney Sirens (Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League)
- Greater Western Sydney (AFL)
- Melbourne Ice (AWIHL)
- Melbourne Victory (A-League)
- Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (NRL)
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.