One-time Cup kings Widnes showed their class to put a dampener on Gavin Henson’s rugby league debut with a 58-4 win over West Wales Raiders in the first round of the Betfred Challenge Cup on Sunday.
Henson struggled to make an instant impact on his switch of codes but his half-back partner Rangi Chase showed glimpses of his brilliant trademark handling skills, including an over-the-top pass that put winger Uraia Naulusala in for the opening try.
The Vikings responded by running in 11 tries, including hat-tricks for Steve Tyrer and captain Jack Owens, who moved into 10th place in the club’s all-time point scoring list with a 26-point haul.
Jake Spedding scored two tries for the seven-time Cup winners and others came from Adam Lawton, Deon Cross and Shane Grady.
The two other League 1 clubs involved in the first round, Keighley Cougars and Barrow Raiders, also went down to Championship opposition on Saturday.
French international Romain Navarrete scored on his London Broncos debut to help them to a 24-10 win over the Cougars at Rosslyn Park.
Oldham ran in early tries through Lewis Charnock and Danny Langtree to put them on their way to a 20-6 victory over Barrow at Bower Fold.
Former Hull KR winger Ryan Shaw scored a breakaway try on the stroke of half-time but the Roughyeds made sure of a place in the second round with a second-half try from Tommy Brierley.
Featherstone staged a repeat of their 1973 Wembley final triumph over Bradford with a 41-16 win over the Bulls at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.
Bradford opened the scoring through Reece Hamlett but conceded tries to Connor Jones, Thomas Minns, Ben Blackmore and James Harrison before half-time as the home side established a 24-6 lead.
Hamlett scored a second try early in the second half and Ebon Scurr also got over the line as Bradford gave themselves hope, but Harrison powered his way over for his second try and Dean Parata and Craig Hall added others as Rovers eased to victory.
Whitehaven-born full-back Gregg McNally, who returned to his home-town club in the off-season, scored a late try and drop goal to help his side to a 23-16 win over Dewsbury.
Former Hull centre Jack Logan scored a solo try on his debut to help Batley Bulldogs to an 18-6 win over Halifax Panthers at The Shay.
Swinton became the last team to secure their place in the second round, courtesy of a 28-16 win over Newcastle Thunder at Heywood Road on Sunday evening.
On Friday night, former Challenge Cup winners Ryan Atkins and Ben Jones-Bishop were among the tryscorers for York City Knights in their 30-6 win over Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Perry Whiteley touched down twice for the Knights, with Kriss Brining getting their other try, while Kieran Dixon kicked five goals. Sheffield’s only try was scored by Greg Burns.