Rugby League: Hull discount the video evidence

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ROYCE SIMMONS, the Hull coach, sets so little store by Wigan's last, atypical performance, when they lost 41-6 at St Helens, that he has refused to let his side see the video of it during the build-up to today's Regal Trophy semi-final.

'That wasn't the real Wigan,' he said. 'They are a champion side and a champion side bounces back. They won't perform like that two weeks running and there is no point in us expecting them to do us that favour.'

Simmons believes that even the depleted side Wigan will field at Central Park this afternoon will be recognisable as the genuine Wigan. 'They have some injury problems, but they will still be fielding eight or nine internationals.'

All the same, the shock of the humiliation at St Helens, combined with the absence of important players such as Dean Bell, Andy Platt, Kelvin Skerrett, Denis Betts and Martin Offiah puts Wigan's legendary resilience under one of its severest tests.

It is a challenge Wigan will take pride in rising to and Simmons is correct to discount any significant hangover after the St Helens debacle. 'A defeat or a victory last two days at this place,' the Wigan coach, John Monie, said. 'After that, it's on to the next match.'

Hull have been in confident form recently, with a coach newly arrived this season and his players apparently comfortable with each other.

After a stodgy start they have started to play some enterprising rugby, with the pace of James Grant in the centre supplying an element that had been missing. But their pack will be below strength this afternoon and their chances of capitalising on any Wigan disarray are reduced accordingly.

Bradford Northern's Regal Trophy semi-final, against Castleford next Saturday, will be played at Bradford City's Valley Parade ground.

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