'Were they playing 13 at some stage?' - Ireland coach Shaw praises Dutch and remains upbeat despite 'disappointing' final
Ireland coach Graham Shaw was gracious in defeat after his side were beaten 6-0 by the Netherlands in their World Cup final clash in London this afternoon.
Ireland saw off the United States, India and Spain on their way to a historic final, but ultimately the class of the Netherlands proved too much for an inexperienced Irish squad.
Shaw praised the 'outstanding' world number one Dutch side, and stressed that he would be accentuating the positives of a remarkable journey that ended with a World Cup silver medal.
"Can I have a look at the team sheet, were they playing 13 at some stage?," Shaw joked in his post-match interview with BT Sport.
"Listen, they're an outstanding team, hats off to them. I knew it was going to be a big ask, I knew it was probably going to be maybe a step too far, particularly if they started well.
"I thought we had to get through the first quarter and maybe frustrate them, and unfortunately that didn't happen, and then it's always going to be difficult. We're playing against world, world class players in an environment that is at home for them,
"Listen, we're disappointed, but I don't want to take away from what they've achieved, truly a remarkable achievement."
Meanwhile captain Kathryn Mullan believes her team "have put hockey on the map" in Ireland following their silver medal.
"We've been living in a bit of a bubble so I don't think we really realise what is going on at home so that's something really exciting to go back to," Mullan told BT Sport 3.
"I really think we've put hockey on the map and we've made a real difference.
"You always say at the start of each, you want to inspire the next generation and sometimes you don't really think about it but now I think we've definitely done that and it's more than we ever could have imagined.
Additional reporting by PA.