STEVE Price branded Warrington Wolves’ performance in their defeat to Leeds Rhinos as “unacceptable” as they surrendered third place in Super League.

The Wire finished the regular season with a 26-4 loss at Headingley, allowing Salford to jump above them in the final table.

It means The Wire must win three elimination fixtures to reach the Super League Grand Final, starting with Castleford Tigers at The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday.

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Price was critical of his side’s tackle management and high error rate in his post-match press conference.

“I didn’t see it coming. There’s a quality football team there and that’s why I’m disappointed,” he said.

“To throw away two bites at a semi-final is what I’m filthy about.

“It’s not a performance I’m happy with. What we dished up tonight was unacceptable.

“We had everything to play for with second or third spot, but we’ve muffed it.

“Credit to Leeds – they showed a lot of intent in all their actions.

“We had 15 errors, which we haven’t had for a long time, which gave them a lot of possession.

“We had our highest missed tackle count for a while as well.

“Our kicking game in that first half gave us some good high finishes, but we let them off with poor tackle management.”

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Declan Patton and Joe Philbin both missed the game, with Matty Smith and Ben Westwood coming into the side.

Price says he is not yet sure whether the Warrington-born pair will be fit to face the Tigers next week.

“I’m not quite sure on Dec and Joe. We’ll have to check on them during the week,” he said.

“They both have lower leg injuries.

“We’ll get back to training tomorrow and get down to knock-out footy.

We are a team that performs better with our backs to the wall and we’ve performing pretty well when it’s been knock-out.

“It’s all about getting our house in order this week and tidying up a few things.

“We created two or three opportunities – if Tommy Lineham scores in the corner a couple of times it’s game on.

“We can’t take anything away from Leeds though.”

Full video reaction above