There was no dream debut for Gavin Henson when the West Wales Raiders were beaten by Widnes Vikings in the first round of the Challenge Cup

Former rugby union star Henson (39) from Wales, Great Britain and Ireland was one of Raiders’ better players in the first rugby league game of his career

But there was no sign of surprise when seven-time winner Widnes drove to a 58-4 win at Llanelli

Henson joined Raiders earlier this month on a 12-month contract after training with the League 1 part-time workers for six weeks

The 2005 British and Irish Lions tourist hadn’t played rugby since its release by Dragons in 2019

Henson was partner of former England international Chase in the center-back, and it was raiders who put an early attempt by Uraia Naulisala in the lead

Widnes took control and ran on eleven attempts in the sunshine of Stebonheath Park, the hosts not receiving Jamie Murphy’s red card for a one-on-one against Owen Buckley in the 20th Minute were supported

It has always been a great challenge for Raiders to get a result against their opponents in the championship Head coach Aaron Wood said in advance that her goal was to assert herself

That’s exactly what they did in the opening quarter Chase showed brilliant bolts of lightning with a break in on the opposition’s 20

Naulisala crossed the corner after some good hands when Raiders took advantage of Danny Craven’s earlier yellow card for a shoulder load

It was one-way traffic after Murphy spotted red. Shane Grady, Ste Tyrer, Deon Cross, Jack Owens and Jake Spedding intersected to make it 28-4 during the break

The attack continued when Tyrer and Owens bagged hat tricks, Spedding got his second, and Adam Lawton crossed late

Skipper Owens also enjoyed a good afternoon with the shoe, with seven successful conversions to bring his personal points to 26

To their credit, Raiders never gave up despite finishing the game with 11 players, and Naulisala was unfortunate enough not to increase his record after coming close to the line

Widnes faces Whitehaven or Dewsbury in the second round, they are also waiting for news on the condition of Calum O’Neill, who was kidnapped after a blow to the head that led to an extended break in the first half

Gavin Henson told BBC Sport Wales: “I think we started well, we competed with them, we finished our sets but losing one man killed the game for us”But it’s our first game of the season, emotions are high and these things happen

“I’ve learned a lot, it’s the first time I’ve played the game I’ve seen it, but there’s nothing like playing it

“It’s so relentless, it’s non-stop. I basically have to get fitter. I think I did everything right, I just couldn’t offer much because it was a very exhausting game

“We’re going to make a lot of it, it was like a practice game in the end and the main thing for us is the league and we have six weeks before that starts”

Gavin Henson

World News – GB – Not a dream rugby league debut for Henson

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/56475421