NOT for the first time this season Steve Price has branded his side’s performance ‘unacceptable’.

That was his description of Warrington Wolves’ home loss to Leeds Rhinos on July 5 and he felt the same about the first-half display at Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.

The Wire trailed 20-0 early in the second half and although they had a four-minute rally to pull the scores back to 26-22 late on they had left themselves with too much to do.

“We showed a lot of character in the second half to get back in it near the end,” said Wolves’ head coach.

“I thought we played some good football for 35 minutes, but that first half was totally unacceptable.

“All our effort areas were down from the start. Something that we pride ourselves on is defending strong which we have been all season and we were way off in all our areas which we pride ourselves on.

“In the first set we give away a penalty and then we got bogged down on our try line for a couple of sets.

“And when we did have the ball we couldn’t generate any ruck speed.

“I’m not taking anything away from Wakefield, who I thought were good.”

Price said there had been no signs in the build-up that his side could be off colour from the start.

He added: “We didn’t play last week with the Hull FC situation but that’s no excuse.

“We can control what we do and that start of the game was not where it needed to be.

“We’ve got to look at that. I thought in the second half after Mason Lino scored we started to get our act together and we started to play like the Warrington Wolves are capable of playing.

“I was really proud of them to keep believing and still give themselves a chance at the end of the game.”

Price confirmed it had not been perfect preparation, as indicated in The Wire only naming 19 players for the game and the likes of Joe Philbin, Robbie Mulhern, Ellis Longstaff and Eribe Doro not being available alongside the injured Jason Clark and suspended Jack Hughes and Daryl Clark.

“We had a couple of disruptions, couple of injuries, Covid situations, but that’s no excuse,”said Price.

“We had a good team out there. We had a number of players out of position but it’s still no excuse.”

Mulhern had an eye operation during the week, which made him unavailable.