September 13, 2019 / 10:02 AM / 7 days ago

Rugby: Octopuses predict Japan will beat Ireland but not reach knockouts

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two octopuses in Obira, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, have predicted the hosts of the Rugby World Cup will not progress from their pool when the tournament begins later this month.

The two molluscs selected the result of each of the host’s pool matches by moving to certain areas of a children’s pool, divided into sections representing each team and the possibility of a draw.

Despite predicting a surprise win over world number one Ireland, the two octopuses anticipate Japan will lose their remaining three matches to Russia, Samoa and Scotland.

If this outcome were to come to pass, it would mean the Japanese team’s head coach, Jamie Joseph, and the Brave Blossoms would have failed to achieve their aim of progressing to the knockout stages for the first time.

It is not the first time an octopus from Obira has predicted sports results but Japanese rugby fans will be hoping it is not as successful as last time.

Last year, an octopus named Rabiot correctly predicted the outcome of all three of Japan’s matches at the Russia 2018 soccer World Cup.

After the tournament, Rabiot was sold at market meaning two new molluscs were needed on Friday and both were given the name of the previous psychic cephalopod.

Japan begin their World Cup campaign against Russia in Tokyo on Sept. 20.

Paul the oracle octopus won global fame in 2010 by accurately picking the outcome of a string of Germany’s soccer World Cup matches that year.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Robert Birsel

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