Maidment knows Pirates still have plenty to prove this season
Cornish Pirates No. 8 Ben Maidment had been looking forward to last Sunday's trip to the Memorial Stadium to face Bristol, after missing out on both games there last season.
However, it all ended in disappointment for the 24 year-old as he was replaced at half-time by Chris Morgan and the Cornish side went down 29-17 after leading until late in the Championship fixture.
The pre-match hype had concentrated on Bristol's desire to avenge their play-off semi-final defeat at the hands of the Pirates last season, but Maidment was not too concerned by the newspaper headlines.
"Bristol felt they had a point to prove going into the game and all the talk about injuries in their side didn't matter because every team gets those," he said. "We have got as much right to that claim as they have, with all the disruption to our squad."
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"Both teams needed to kick-start their seasons going into the game because I think, to be honest, neither side had played prior to this match how they had wanted to. All the build-up and talk in the papers before the match didn't really matter, because both sides had a point to prove."
With the bragging rights claimed by Liam Middleton's side, after a frenetic battle at times which did much to increase the number of casualties in the Pirates' sick bay, Maidment reflected on a bruising start to the new season for his team.
"We were carrying some scars throughout the team [going into this game] after playing Jersey and Plymouth because they have both got very physical and abrasive packs," he explained.
"On paper it wasn't the hardest start to the season, but it turned out to be a huge test. I'd like to say that we had to be on our money but I don't think we were against Plymouth, but we have certainly been tested so far this season."
Maidment continued: "I would like to think that Jersey won't end up scrapping for survival and maybe in a couple of months when they have a bit more experience going there to play won't be an easy thing to do."
Head coach Ian Davies had labelled the team's performance against Plymouth as "flat" but Maidment did not accept that Nat Saumi's rejuvenated Albion side had caught them napping.
"We put a lot of detail into preparing for the Plymouth game and had a really good training week," he said. "In the changing room before we seemed OK but it wasn't until the last ten minutes or so on the pitch, as everyone saw, that we got out of jail."
Maidment has now been joined at the Pirates by younger brother Max, who has been loaned by Premiership side Bath as temporary cover for the Pirates front-row.
Maidment Jnr made his Championship debut as a second-half replacement in the Albion game, and featured at Bristol when he took over at tight head from Ben Prescott in the 64th minute.
Now, after a prolonged period out of the game through injury, Ben is happy to see Max back again doing what he does best.
"Max has played against some decent players in the A League, but to put himself in the shop window and play against a pack as dominant as Bristol were last year was tremendous," he said.
"This was another step up for him and I'm sure he was nervous, but with all the other boys around him pushing him on he again proved his worth."
The Pirates and Bath have not set a fixed time limit on Max's stay in Cornwall, but as Ben joked, there has not been any time for sibling rivalry on the training pitch yet.
"We haven't had any contact in training against each other yet, and to be honest I'm just trying to help him settle in," he said. "We don't play the same position, so if he's going forward it helps me at the back of a scrum and I just want him to do as well as possible."