STEVE Price says he “expects better” of his Warrington Wolves side after watching slip to a disappointing loss at Wakefield Trinity.

Despite the much-vaunted half-back pairing of Blake Austin and Gareth Widdop getting its first out, The Wire put in the kind of lacklustre display with ball in hand that riddled their end to last season.

It took Wakefield until the final 10 minutes to capitalise on a game they largely controlled, with Matty Ashurst and Tom Johnstone crossing in the late stages to decide the match.

Stefan Ratchford scored all of The Wire’s points at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, crossing for a try and kicking two goals.

Price’s side conceded 10 penalties – three of which were kicked by Ryan Hampshire – in an undisciplined display and the Wire boss says Trinity managed the tricky conditions much better.

“Our tactical discipline with the ball let us down in crucial parts of the game. There were times I just thought we weren’t at the races,” he said.

“Credit to Wakefield – they handled the conditions much better than we did.

“It was a slow game and we couldn’t generate any ruck speed. They handled the ruck a little bit better than us.

“We didn’t get as much field position as we’d like and when we did, we should have executed better.

“It was a clunky game. There was no flow and tempo to the game – a frustrating one for us.

“It’s not a performance I’m happy with. We expect better.

“We’re a lot better than what we showed today. We were missing a lot of things we stand for.”

Widdop came in for his much-anticipated Wire debut, with Ratchford moving back to full-back and Jake Mamo slotting in at right centre.

This meant Matty Ashton – arguably Warrington’s stand-out performer in the opening two games against St Helens and Wigan – missed out altogether.

Warrington Guardian:

Matty Ashton was left out despite two impressive displays against St Helens and Wigan. Picture by Mike Boden

It was a move that caught many by surprise and while defending his decision, Price says he has “a bit of thinking to do” about who takes the field against Toronto Wolfpack in five days’ time.

“For his first hit-out, I thought Gaz showed some really good touches but he’s only going to get better.

“I just thought it (leaving Ashton out) was the best fit for the team.

“Matty has been doing a really good job for us – his first two games were really good.

“Gareth is a quality player and so is Stef, so I thought that was the best way forward.

“Having said that, I’ve got a bit of thinking to do over the next 48 hours or so.”