The 2020 NRL and AFL seasons wrapped up over the weekend with the Melbourne Storm and Richmond Tigers continuing an unbelievable run of success for the two clubs.
With many modern leagues angled towards parity and putting every team on an equal playing field, any level of sustained success is nothing short of phenomenal.
Every fan hopes their club will be the next dynasty in their competition, and for the Storm and Tigers, they are the ones everyone wants to see knocked off their perch.
The Tigers win on Saturday saw them claim their third premiership in four seasons, cementing dynastic status while the Storm just continued a ridiculous run of success that dates back over a decade.
Here we are going to take a look at some of the other sides that have filled the David role in the best David v Goliath battles.
Collingwood – VFL
A handful of clubs have won three straight VFL/AFL premierships over the last 100 plus years but only one has completed the four-peat.
Collingwood were the dominant VFL side from 1927 to 1930 winning around 86% of their games and defeating most teams pretty comfortably.
As if that wasn’t enough, they also had players win three of the four Brownlow Medals in that time.
St George Dragons – NSWRL
It’s hard to imagine any NRL side matching the Dragons effort of 11 straight NSWRL Premierships from 1956-1966 although some have done their best to try.
Their run began with a win over Balmain in the Grand Final and over the next decade, the likes of Norm Provan, Reg Gasnier, John Wilson and Harry Bath were crucial to their success.
The final title came in a 23-4 win over Balmain and the following year they lost to Canterbury in the Preliminary Final.
Such is the legacy of that Dragons side, they have been immortalised on the NRL trophy.
Juventus – Serie A
Earlier this year, Juventus claimed a ridiculous ninth consecutive Serie A title, extending their unbelievable dominance of Italian football.
The last team to win the Italian top division was AC Milan in 2010/2011.
Of course in a stunning display of brutality, Juve then went on to sack manager Maurizio Sarri because apparently winning the league just isn’t enough in Turin anymore.
Tafea FC – Port Vila Premier League
Sticking with football, the record for consecutive league titles comes from noted powerhouse nation Vanuatu.
Tafea FC won 15 straight league titles from 1994-2009 in the Port Vila Premier League before being dethroned by Amicale FC.
After a decade long title drought, Tafea won their 16th league title in the 2018/2019 season.
For the time being, they can pull the Archie Thompson and remind everyone they are world record holders.
Skonto Riga – Latvian Virsliga
In terms of announcing yourselves with a bang, it’s hard to go past Skonto FC in Latvia, who won the league title in their first 14 seasons of existence.
When the competition was restored to its prior, independent form in 1991, Skonto came in and swept all before them from 1991-2004.
During their run they produced some decent talent, even getting noticed by a few Premier League clubs.
Lincoln Red Imps – Gibraltar League
Lincoln might have had Tafea in their sights during the 2017 Gibraltan National League season, having won the prior 14 titles, they fell one short of equalling the world record.
Perhaps more frustratingly for them, they tallied an impressive 72 points, winning 23 of their 27 matches and missing out on that title by a solitary point.
It might be a small consolation but they won the next two league titles before the 2019/2020 season was abandoned.
If you are wondering why this club sounds a bit familiar, perhaps you remember this clash with Celtic.
Rosenborg – Norwegian Eliteserien
One other side that came close to the record was Norwegian team Rosenborg you may or may not remember from a random Champions League or Europa League match over the last few years.
In 1992, they won the Eliteserien and did not relinquish the title until 2005 making for an impressive 14 season run.
BATE Borisov – Belarusian Premier League
We’ve all spent a bit of time checking in on the Belarusian Premier League over the past few months so BATE Borisov shouldn’t be an altogether unfamiliar name.
From 2006-2018 they won 13 of their 15 league titles and were a regular feature in European competition in that time, even making the group stage of the Champions League on occasion.
Apparently winning all those league titles never gets old.
Celtic – Scottish Premiership
Now onto the current streaks and who else is simply unstoppable.
Celtic have won nine straight Scottish titles from 2011-2012, cruising to silverware in a canter most of the time.
It also should come with the caveat that this run of Celtic titles has come while their main rivals Rangers were liquidated, reformed, admitted to the Third Division (fourth tier) and worked their way back to finish as runners up to Celtic in the last two seasons.
While they haven’t exactly been pushed, they haven’t taken their foot off the pedal in that time either.
Bayern Munich – Bundesliga
There’s a reason Bayern start most seasons as near unbackable favourites to win the Bundesliga, and it’s got a lot to do with the fact they are just that good.
Since the turn of the millennium, they have won 15 of the 21 available league titles (including the 1999-2000 seasons) with the last eight Bundesliga titles residing at the Allianz Arena.
Over the last eight years they have won titles with Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Anvelotti, Heynckes (again), Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick as manager showing that when you assemble a superteam, the boss’s main job is to just get out of the way.
Crusaders – Super Rugby
No side has dominated Super Rugby the way the Crusaders have since the competition’s inception.
They have won 10 titles and been almost ever present in the final over that span two.
Two periods have symbolised their dominance more than others though, with three straight titles in 1998-2000 and again from 2017-2019, with a pandemic required to end the current streak.
Current coach Scott Robertson knows how to celebrate a title though.
All Blacks – Bledisloe Cup
Look, as Aussies we’re loathe to bring this up but we should also mention the All Blacks current run of Bledisloe Cup dominance stretching from 2003 to at least 2019 and in all honesty probably a few more years yet.
Montreal Canadiens – NHL
It’s been a few lean years in Quebec lately, but from 1956-1979 they produced some of the best hockey teams in the world.
They won 13 Stanley Cups over that 24 year run including five straight from 1956-1960, then four straight in 1965-1969 and again in 1976-1979.
As it stands they were the last Canadian team to win Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1993.
Edmonton Oilers – NHL
While not a clean run of titles, the Edmonton Oilers, headlined hockey’s “Great One” Wayne Gretzky won five Stanley Cups in seven seasons between 1984 and 1990.
Perhaps even more impressively, the Oilers won their fifth Cup in that run a season after trading Gretzky to the LA Kings whom they defeated 4-0 in the division finals round.
Boston Celtics – NBA
No side has had a better run of success in the NBA than the Boston Celtics of the late 50’s and early 60’s, winning 11 NBA titles in the span of 13 years.
Guided by Bill Russell, the most successful player in NBA history and Red Auerbach, the most successful coach in NBA history, the Celtics managed eight straight titles from 1959-1966, dominating the NBA.
What made them so great? Find out from the boss himself.
Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls – NBA
We’ve all seen The Last Dance talking about the Bulls dynasty from 1991-1998 featuring a pair of three-peats.
Naturally Jordan was key to that success with the Bulls winning titles in the seasons he played from the start, only missing out in the years impacted by his first retirement.
Green Bay Packers – NFL
There’s a reason Green Bay has been known as Title Town USA for a long time, their Packers have brought plenty of NFL silverware home.
In the 1960’s, with legendary coach Vince Lombardi at the helm, the Packers won the NFL Championship in 1961, 1962 and 1965 before claiming the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967.
New England Patriots – NFL
Such has been the level of success of the New England Patriots since Mo Lewis levelled Drew Bledsoe in September 2001, that there is a movement to rename the Super Bowl trophy as the Lombardi-Belichick trophy.
Since 2001, the Patriots have won six Super Bowls, appeared in nine and been ever present at the business end of every season.
Not to mention there is a debate in the north-east of the USA about which Super Bowl run was better, winning three in four years between 2001 and 2004 or making four and winning three between 2014 and 2018.
Now we get to see what’s next in the post-Tom Brady era, but when you have to choose what combination of Super Bowl rings you wear at any point in time, it says a lot about your success.