Triumph silences 1 billion; all-time run that changed a nation: 10 best Aussie teams of ‘23

As 2023 draws to a close, it’s been yet another memorable year of Australian sport both domestically and internationally.

But which Aussie team was the best of the lot?

Thanks to our very precise and scientific methods, Foxsports.com.au has ranked what we believe are the 10 best Australian team performances of the year.

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1st: Australian men’s win ODI World Cup

With an ODI World Cup on home soil, the script was already written for India to break its 12-year trophy drought.

All went according to plan as India went unbeaten through to the final as a date with destiny in front of 100,000 fans awaited.

But Australia clearly didn’t get the memo.

After dropping the first two games of the tournament, the Aussies rallied thanks to staggering individual performances, none more so than Glenn Maxwell’s heroic, cramp-riddled knock of 200 against Afghanistan.

Against India in the final, the Aussies were unrelenting and managed to overcome all odds to beat the host nation thanks to a thrilling Travis Head century.

It was Australia’s 6th ODI World Cup, but this one might have been the most special of the lot.

Australia’s men’s ODI team silenced a nation of one billion to win the World Cup. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

2nd: Matildas make the semi final of Women’s World Cup

The Women’s World Cup promised to be one of the biggest sporting events to have ever been held on Australian soil and boy, didn’t it deliver.

But it wouldn’t have been as successful if not for the thrilling ride the nation got to enjoy courtesy of the Matildas.

The loss of captain and superstar striker Sam Kerr for the group stages almost derailed the campaign, but the Tillies managed to rally and made it to the quarterfinal.

If Australia hadn’t already fallen in love with the Matildas yet, then the nailbiting penalty shootout win over France had the nation head over heels for the team.

Unfortunately the journey came to an end in the semi finals at the hands of England, but it was a time Aussie sport fans will never, ever forget.

The Matildas’ run to the semi final had the country glued to their TV sets. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images )Source: Getty Images

3rd: Penrith Panthers complete the three-peat

No team had won three consecutive premierships since the Parramatta Eels accomplished the feat in 1983.

Enter the Penrith Panthers.

Despite losing star duo Viliame Kikau and Api Koroisau before the season began, Ivan Cleary’s side rarely missed a beat as they edged out the Brisbane Broncos to take out the minor premiership.

The two teams would face off in the grand final as the Broncos looked to stop the Panthers from making history.

For the majority of the contest it certainly looked like that would be the case, but a 40/20 from Nathan Cleary kicked off a stunning revival as the Panthers came back to win 26-24 in one of the best grand finals in modern NRL history.

And, most importantly, it secured the elusive three-peat.

Nathan Cleary steered the Panthers to a third-straight NRL premiership. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

4th: Diamonds reclaim spot atop netball world

There aren’t many Australian teams as successful on the international stage quite like the Diamonds.

The Aussies enjoyed a perfect run to victory in the round robin stage of the Quad Series and rounded off an unbeaten tournament with a 56-50 win over the Silver Ferns in the final.

But a more important tournament awaited in the form of the 2023 Netball World Cup.

Having finished second in the 2019 edition, anything less than a gold medal would not suffice.

Although the Diamonds suffered a shock loss to England in the group stage, Stacey Marinkovich’s team rallied to beat Jamaica in a three-point thriller in the semi finals to book a date with the Roses in the final.

Yet there would be no shock this time, as the Diamonds beat England by 16 points to reclaim their spot atop the throne of world netball.

The Diamonds took out the gold medal at the 2023 Netball World Cup. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)Source: Getty Images

5th: Collingwood win first flag in 13 years

After coming agonisingly close to making the big dance in 2022, Collingwood were hot favourites to go one step further this year.

Under the tutelage of Craig McRae, the Pies once again lit up the AFL this season and finished top of the ladder for the first time in 12 years.

Yet a minor premiership would count for little if McRae could not guide the club to its first flag since 2010.

Thankfully for the Pies faithful, Collingwood managed to end the lengthy wait with a pulsating 12.18 (90) – 13.8 (86) win over the Brisbane Lions in a grand final that went down to the wire.

It was a day Collingwood fans most certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

The Pies finally ended a 13-year wait for a flag. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

6th: Aussie Dolphins demolish rivals at World Swim Champs

13 gold medals, five new world records … need we say more?

The Australian swim team, affectionately known as the Dolphins, obliterated the competition at the 2023 World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

So much so that the nation with the second-highest gold medal tally was the universal sporting powerhouse that is the United States, with seven.

Mollie O’Callaghan anointed herself as the new queen of the 200m freestyle after she beat fellow Aussie Ariarne Titmus to take home gold, but Titmus also left Japan with a world record of her own thanks to victory in the 400m freestyle.

And we can’t forget Kaylee McKeown who completed the clean sweep of the women’s 50, 100 and 200 metre backstroke events.

Bring on Paris.

The Aussies finished with the most gold medals at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

7th: Australian women retain Ashes and win T20 World Cup with perfect run

The Australian women’s cricket team continued to assert their dominance over the rest of the world with yet another superb showing in a World Cup in February as well as retaining the Ashes.

Four wins from four in the group stage of the women’s T20 World Cup preceded a gritty five-run win over India in the semi finals.

Australia then beat host nation South Africa by 19 runs in the final to make it three women’s T20 World Cup victories in a row.

If that wasn’t enough joy, the Aussies then went on to retain the Ashes.

Despite the Aussies losing four of the seven matches that comprised the women’s Ashes, victory in the one-off Test as well as the first of the T20 fixtures meant England had to be perfect in the remaining five matches on offer.

England could not do so, with the Aussies winning the second ODI to ensure the Ashes would remain in Australian hands once more.

Australia went unbeaten to win the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

8th: Australian men retain Ashes

A controversial run out, absurd scenes in the fabled Long Room at Lords and of course, Baz Ball.

It was an Ashes series for the ages but, most importantly, it finished with the urn still in the Australian men’s team’s possession.

The Aussies were on the brink of a thrilling series victory after they raced out to a 2-0 lead.

England pulled one back in the third Test but any hope of grabbing the Ashes back ended after the fourth Test was drawn.

We can at least let the Poms enjoy a moral victory after they won the fifth Test as the 2023 Ashes ended 2-2.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Aussie men ensured the Ashes wouldn’t leave its grasp. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

9h: Australian SailGP team win third consecutive season

SailGP had only been in existence for two seasons and Australia had emerged winners in both of those.

Could Tom Slingsby and his crew pull off three in a row?

You bet they could.

The Aussies won the third season to finish 16 points ahead of New Zealand, making it yet another three-peat for an Australian team this year.

Will we be back this time next year raving about Slingsby leading Australia to a fourth SailGP title?

Three consecutive SailGP titles for Australia called for champagne showers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

10th: Queensland Maroons win State of Origin

Last but not least (well, depending on which state you’re from) is the Queensland Maroons.

Billy Slater’s side won the all-important game on neutral soil in Adelaide 26-18 thanks to two tries in the space of five minutes despite being down a man after Tom Flegler was sin-binned.

With game two lined up for the Queensland fortress that is Suncorp Stadium, the Maroons demolished New South Wales 32-6 to wrap up the series with a game to spare.

Although the Blues won game three, it meant Queensland had won consecutive State of Origin titles for the first time since its run of three-in-a-row from 2015 to 2017.

Source website: www.foxsports.com.au

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