Crusaders awarded top Australasian team

The Crusaders celebrate after winning their ninth Super Rugby title in this year's final against...
The Crusaders celebrate after winning their ninth Super Rugby title in this year's final against the Lions in Christchurch. Photo: Getty Images
The Crusaders have been voted the most successful Australasian sporting team of the past 25 years.

The award from Gainline Analytics analysed 122 teams across 14 competitions since 1993 and judged the nine-time Super Rugby champions top of the pile.

The Crusaders first won a Super Rugby title in 1998, with their most recent success coming this year. They were the only New Zealand sporting side to make the top-25 list.

"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 and former Wallabies prop Ben Darwin told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"In 2011 they 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. 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."

The Crusaders, back-to-back Super Rugby champions, will be presented with a cheque for $A25,000 ($NZ26.566) next week to donate to a worthwhile cause.

Platinum Asset Management conducted the research, in conjunction with GAIN LINE Analytic, who analysed 74,426 matches between all the 122 teams across the 14 eligible national or Australasian leagues over 25 years to reach a conclusion.

Australasia's Best Sporting Team - Top 25

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)
11. Sydney Swans (AFL)
12. Sydney University Flames (WNBL)
13. Adelaide Lightning/City (WNBL)
14. Brumbies (Super Rugby)
15. Fremantle Marlins (National Women's Water Polo League)
16. Melbourne United/Tigers (NBL)
17. West Coast Eagles (AFL)
18. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (NRL)
19. Newcastle North Stars (Australian Ice Hockey League)
20. Brisbane Barracudas (National Women's Water Polo League)
21. Victoria (Sheffield Shield)
22. NSW/Sydney Swifts (Netball)
23. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (NRL)
24. Hawthorn Hawks (AFL)
25. Cronulla Sharks Water Polo Club (National Women's Water Polo League)

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