Irish hockey captain Katie Mullan doesn't feel that the scoreline fairly reflected their performance after they gave the Netherlands a real test before losing out 5-1 in their World Cup opener.

The reigning World Cup, Olympic and European champions only led by a goal at the break, before pushing on in the second half after Róisín Upton had made the score 2-1.

"The scoreline doesn’t necessarily tell the tale of the game," said captain Katie Mullan afterwards.

"We had them at 2-1 and were under their skin. We dominated in patches and I am extremely proud of the defensive effort out there and there are so many positives for us to take from it into the next one.

"There’s obviously moments we didn’t win but there were moments we did win and those are the ones to go away and learn from.

"Right now, it’s back to the drawing board but I am extremely proud of the girls. We have four debuts today and what a spectacle to do it in, they should be so proud of their performances. They were fantastic and played as if they had far more than zero."

Caoimhe Perdue, Charlotte Beggs, Katie McKee and Christina Hamill all made their debuts, and Irish coach Sean Dancer said he was proud of their efforts.

"It’s really special for the four girls to get their first cap against the Olympic and world champions. What an opportunity; I was really proud of them. They stood up and showed they can handle themselves on the big stage.

"It’s great when you can see young kids come in and make an impact from the start against world class players. I am really excited about the future ahead for them."