This Sporting Life

Australia versus New Zealand: an emotional meta-analysis of rugby

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7429.1475 (Published 18 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1475
  1. Jonathan Silberberg, associate professor (jsilberb@ozemail.com.au)1,
  2. John Wlodarczyk, statistician2
  1. 1School of Medicine and Population Health, University of Newcastle, 92 Scott Street, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia
  2. 2John Wlodarczyck Consulting Services, 10 Mirral Cres, New Lambton, NSW 2305, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: J Silberberg

    Prize winning journalist Joseph Lelyveld wrote of a research method called “selective quotation.” Examples of this are not hard to find in medical journals. Often, all sorts of rationalisations are presented as to why the overall data should be spurned in favour of chosen highlights, which may be driven by commercial or academic imperatives. In this paper, we render the emotional component of such arguments more explicit. We compare nearly 100 years of international rugby between Australia and New Zealand.

    Methods and results

    We analysed the 114 official test scores between 1903 and 2000 using http://www.rugby.com.au/aus.rugby/pages/178> and 1998's Australian Rugby Almanac …

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