Sharks are definitely St Kilda. Both unsuccessful, beachside clubs who don't mind a scandal or two.
West Coast and Brisbane is an easy one.
Melbourne Storm and Sydney Swans.
Always thought of Freo and the Cowboys as similar clubs.
Newcastle and Geelong.
Sydney Roosters seem like Melbourne but given their success are probably more like Hawthorn.
Wests and the Western Bulldogs.
Raiders and the Lions.
Canterbury and Collingwood.
Souths and Richmond.
Parramatta and Carlton.
* Melbourne = Sydney. Unfortunately this is a pretty obvious one - expansion teams (of sorts) who won flags based around revolutionary defensive tactics and never really seem to bottom out. Also seem to be the victim of salary cap jibes.
* Brisbane would probably be a combination of Adelaide/West Coast, as the powerhouse club of the state.
* Roosters = more successful Melbourne. The clubs of the elite, but support can be patchy. Easts have managed to keep the car running a lot longer than Melbourne did though.
* Manly = Hawthorn. Similar kind of area, have mostly been pretty successful after long droughts to begin their footballing journeys and often disliked by opposition fans.
* Cronulla = St Kilda. Won only one flag and the victim of jibes about lack of success (though Cronulla don't have very many spoons, funnily enough), southern location and on the water, and love a scandal or two.
* Penrith = Western Bulldogs. Smaller western clubs, won two flags, feel kinda ignored by opposition clubs and love to play good attacking footy when up and about.
* Canterbury = Carlton. Big in the 80's, have heavy ethnic support, picks up controversies at the tip of the hat.
* Parramatta = Essendon? Big clubs that had a lot of success in the 80's, and the respective suburbs are gateways to the western suburbs. Essendon have had a lot more success outside of the 80's though, so maybe something like North Melbourne might be a better fit. Or if I wanted to be really harsh, St Kilda.....
* Souths = Collingwood, unfortunately. Traditionally the powerhouse, but haven't performed anywhere near as well in recent times, owner loves the media spotlight, reputation for supporters being under-educated and lacking teeth. There's also some Richmond here, in terms of boom-bust cycles anyway (as well as being the laughing stock of the competition before their most recent flag).
* Wests Tigers = Richmond. Though a lot of this is down to both clubs being called the Tigers and Balmain being a bit like Richmond in terms of demographics. But they're both pretty proud clubs historically (using Balmain's history here) before declining as time went on. Wests 05 flag has some similarities to the Dogs 16 one but not massive ones IMO.
* St George Illawarra = tricky. There's a fair bit of Carlton here - similar sort of area, typically up and about in the ladder - but it's a fairly weak one. If you moved the timeframes of their biggest periods of success around a bit Hawthorn might work, too. But given the longest Premiership streak in the V/AFL is 4, it's hard to find a comparison for a club who is most noted for winning 11 in a row....
* Newcastle = Geelong, but there's also traces of North Melbourne here. Geelong should be obvious given the respective areas. As for North Melbourne, this is mostly based on parallels between Johns and Carey, and the clubs having largely struggled since they moved on.
* Canberra = Brisbane. Mostly were pretty weak throughout their history, but are noted for having one of the greatest sides of all time that played dazzling tough and attacking footy.
* North Queensland = Fremantle. Pretty much have been eternally second fiddle to the main states powerhouses (Brisbane, West Coast), but there have been periods where they outdid them on the field. Have had a couple of ATG talismen like figures that guided their side.
* Gold Coast = Gold Coast But seriously it makes a lot of sense (though the Titans are a better team) - a new club who had relative early success before fizzling out and always seem to have question marks on their future.
* Warriors = if an NT team ever existed I reckon there'd be some parallels here. Had Port not won 04 I could see some similarities - reputation for underperforming, had an excellent team around the early 2000's but not a lot otherwise.
This is probably the easiest to do because you're comparing two Australian competitions, and a lot of the areas are easy to find demographic equivalents.
For me, the Storm and West Coast Eagles are a great comparison. Both the most successful expansion teams, both are despised in the establishment state and given a hard time in the media and both had quick success and stepped on toes along the way to make this so. Both have also had prominent controversies which would break many clubs but have served to embolden their own success.
Carlton = Manly - both have a massive 'Messiah Complex' but have been very successful teams historically.
Freo worringly might be the North Sydney Bears- not successful but better liked than you'd expect.