September 25, 2019 / 6:43 AM / a month ago

Japan's Lemiki boldly predicts 33-26 win over Ireland

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool A - Japan v Russia - Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - September 20, 2019 Japan's Lomano Lemeki in action with Russia's German Davydov REUTERS/Matthew Childs

HAMAMATSU, Japan (Reuters) - If Lomano Lemeki’s prediction comes true, hosts Japan will take another World Cup scalp in spectacular style when they take on Ireland on Saturday.

The Brave Blossoms shocked the sport four years ago when they beat twice World champions South Africa 34-32 in a thriller and will have to find a similar performance if they are to topple the heavily fancied Irish in Shizuoka.

“33-26,” Auckland-born Lemeki, who moved to Japan a decade ago, told a news conference would be the score if Japan manage to win.

Asked to elaborate, the maverick winger said, “Because we trained hard and (Johnny) Sexton is not 100%,” referring to Ireland’s flyhalf who is a doubt for the game because of a thigh injury.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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