Platinum Asset Management and GAIN LINE Analytics are pleased to present their analysis on Australasia’s Best Sporting Team (ABST) 2023, and to announce that the Penrith Panthers National Rugby League team have won the award, having won the most recent three Premierships in a row.
The team is widely credited with having one of the outstanding talent development and retention programs in the country, which is reflected in their outcomes.
Matt Cameron, Panthers Rugby League CEO, said “On behalf of everyone at Penrith Panthers, we are extremely proud of our recent success. I’d like to pay tribute to our head coach Ivan Cleary, whose exceptional leadership has truly eased the path for everyone's role on the team.
"Our team is youthful in terms of player age, yet our success has allowed them to mature within the game, understanding the essential elements needed to achieve it. Our first grade team stands as a testament to meticulous planning, robust development strategies, and the vital attribute of patience exhibited by our senior administrators. It's crucial for us to maintain our resolve. We're fortunate to have a steadfast board and supportive senior management who've backed every step of our journey.”
The club nominated ‘Panthers on the Prowl’ to receive a $10,000 grant from Platinum in recognition of their success. Panthers on the Prowl works to provide meaningful education and healthy development opportunities for students in the wider Penrith area who are at risk of disengaging from school.
Panthers wins Best Sporting Club in Australasia
Runners-up were A-League Men's current Premiers, Melbourne City, who have won the last three premierships (regular season league) and the 2021 championship. They are part of City Football Group, which also owns English champions, Manchester City.
In third place came last year’s winners, Crusaders, who won an incredible seventh title in a row, but missed out on winning ABST with more weight to win-loss record than outcomes in knock-out matches.
In fourth place came UNSW Wests Magpies, men’s water polo team, adding the 2023 title to wins in 2019 and 2022 (COVID wiped out 2020 and 2021). They have won six of the last eight competitions. The Australian Water Polo leagues drive national team success. These four teams are among thirteen 2023 competition winners in the Top 25 showing how hard it is to win ABST.
In fifth place overall, and the top female team were Adelaide Crows AFLW, who topped this year’s ladder for the fourth time in six seasons, having won two premierships in that time. This year’s top 25 contains ten female teams, including three AFLW teams. Over 40% of the teams in the analysis are now female. Brisbane Lions had both their male and female teams in the Top 25, including the new AFLW champions.
Since 2019, ABST has been an annual award over rolling five-year periods, with previous winners Melbourne Storm (NRL) in 2019 and 2020, and Sydney FC (A-League Men’s) in 2021. Crusaders won the inaugural 2018 award, which was a 25-year study.
Our annual analysis looks at every game in Australasian sporting competitions conducting a home/away or equivalent competition with Australian teams. Rankings consider rolling five-year outcomes (2019-2023), for 21 competitions, including 10 women’s leagues, and unisex esports, covering over 8,400 individual matches.
ABST evolved from Platinum and GAIN LINE working together and brings an analytical approach to understanding how relationships within teams (‘cohesion’) impact outcomes. This is often overlooked as conventional analysis tends to study talent and leadership. ABST seeks to measure and recognise success while emphasising that the way a team is built is critical. Along with supporting good causes, a goal is to drive conversations about greatness, reward success and unearth some hidden gems.
Douglas Isles, Head of Investment at Platinum, commented “GAIN LINE’s theories on cohesion continue to resonate with my understanding of the strength of Platinum’s investment team. In parallel with the sporting context, there are countless examples in the corporate world, where cohesion, or lack of it, determines outcomes. ABST recognises sporting excellence while supporting great causes and is an opportunity to make a difference by following up on the work we have done on ourselves”.