THERE was a palpable sense of what might have been as fans filtered out of The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday night.

Steve Price has said since day one that it will take time to see the best of his side, given the strength of the winds of change that have swept through the club during the off-season.

Thursday’s curtain-raiser showed him to be right, but we could have just as easily have been talking about Price starting his reign with a victory rather than a defeat.

The fact The Wire are sitting on zero points rather than two can come down to a combination of factors.

Firstly, credit has to go to the Rhinos’ defence.

Wolves spent plenty of time camped on the opposition line and even got over it several times only to be held up. To come out on top in that situation is admirable.

Furthermore, the half-back partnership of Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts was playing together for the first time and there was plenty of evidence that things were still coming together.

The likelihood is that link-up, like several others within the side, will get better with time.

That said, The Wire threw more than enough at Leeds to win the game. They will still see it as an opportunity missed.

What if Ryan Atkins had gone low instead of acrobatically high when the tryline beckoned? What if Wire had converted their intense second-half pressure into points just before Ryan Hall’s long-range effort?

Both were game-changing moments. To be successful, they have to go your way.

Price has spoken widely about turning Wolves into a tough and resilient team, and there was certainly evidence of that.

When Leeds scored back-to-back efforts before the break, the game could have easily got away from the hosts. Instead, Bryson Goodwin dragged them back into contention.

He perhaps shone the brightest of The Wire’s new recruits, showing that, despite coming towards the autumn of his career, he is still capable of being a big influence.

After the interval, needless penalties given away gave Leeds a period of pressure, but time and time again Warrington repelled them and turned them away.

On the face of it, a four-point loss to the reigning champions is not a disaster, but The Wire must be wary that the losing mentality does not settle in. We all know what can happen if it does.

INTERESTING NOTES:

. The Wire’s first home defeat to Leeds since 2011.

. Defeat means Warrington miss out on setting a Super League era club record of 11 straight victories.

. Bryson Goodwin marks his Super League debut with a try.

MATCH FACTS:

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Ryan Atkins, Matty Russell; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Jack Hughes, Ben Murdoch-Masila. Subs: Ben Westwood, George King, Joe Philbin, Declan Patton.

Rhinos: Jack Walker; Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Liam Sutcliffe, Ryan Hall; Joel Moon, Richie Myler; Adam Cuthbertson, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Brett Delaney. Subs: Brad Dwyer, Anthony Mullally, Nathaniel Peteru, Jack Ormondroyd.

Scoring: Jones-Buchanan try, 16mins, Watkins goal 0-6; Hall try, 19mins, 0-10; Watkins penalty, 26mins, 0-12; Goodwin try, 31mins, Goodwin goal 6-12; Hall try, 55mins, 6-16; Lineham try, 78mins, Goodwin goal 12-16.

Penalties: Wolves 8 Rhinos 10.

Referee: Phil Bentham.

Attendance: 11,241.

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