Crusaders named Australasia's best sports team of the last 25 years

By Online Editors
The Crusaders celebrate their 9th Super Rugby title. Photo / Getty Images

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After an in-depth analysis by Gain Line Analytics the Crusaders have been named Australasia’s most successful sporting franchise of the past 25 years.

“We wanted to understand what success looked like. It was about good governance and winning but winning continuously, not just winning a title then falling away,” Gain Line Analytics director Ben Darwin told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Crusaders have won nine Super Rugby titles since the competitions inception in 1996 – more than any other franchise – and have secured the last two titles on the trot.

“In 2011 they [the Crusaders] did something we’ve never seen before, they basically played the entire season away from their home ground because of the earthquake and they still made the final,” former Wallabies prop Darwin said. “To pull that off is pretty extraordinary, particularly with all the extra things that come with earthquakes, like family stress and constantly changing environments.

“They’ve also punched above their weight geographically, representing an area smaller than Newcastle or Geelong, but they have consistently recruited internally from the local area, and produced extraordinary results.”

After being named Australasia’s best by Gain Line Analytics and Platinum Asset Management the Crusaders will be presented a A$25,000 grant for them to donate to a worthy cause of their choosing.

“The BNZ Crusaders began their inaugural Crusade in 1996 as part of the introduction of Super Rugby – the toughest international rugby competition in the world,” a statement on the Platinum Asset Management website reads. “Our team, and the Crusaders Brand, is built on the ethos of; ‘the team is more highly valued than any one individual’. An understated ruthless pursuit of excellence. Leaving nothing to chance, by attention to detail, courage under fire, innovation and risk taking, all in red and black.

The Crusaders were the only New Zealand-based franchise named in the top 25 after an analysis of 122 teams across 14 competitions. In total 74,426 matches dating back to 1993 were analysed during the research.

The Brisbane Broncos rugby league team came in second, with four titles to their name during the 25-year window.

Australasia’s Best Sporting Team – Top 10

1. Crusaders (Super Rugby)
2. Brisbane Broncos (NRL)
3. Geelong Cats (AFL)
4. Fremantle Mariners (National Water Polo League)
5. NSW Breakers (Women’s National Cricket League)
6. Queensland Bulls (Sheffield Shield)
7. Sydney University Lions (National Women’s Water Polo League)
8. Melbourne Storm (NRL)
9. Perth Wildcats (NBL)
10. Sydney Roosters (NRL)


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Crusaders named Australasia's best sports team of the last 25 years