Super Rugby 2019: Chiefs' Brad Weber relishes the 'argy-bargy' in testy Sharks encounter

Chiefs captain Brad Weber beamed with pride as he addressed media following his team's hard-fought 29-23 win over the Sharks in Hamilton on Saturday night.

The hosts were made to battle for every inch against the typically combative South Africans, in a contest that was as much verbal as it was physical.

And befitting of the number nine on his back, Weber relished every moment of that relentless niggle.

"Nice wasn't it?" Weber said with a grin. "I loved it. It's just great seeing everybody back their mate up."

"There was a little bit of argy-bargy but we all backed each other up, and that's what I like about it.

"There's not much of that anymore because you can't get away with a hell of a lot, but we pushed the line there and I think we enjoyed that. I think we had a smile on our face. It certainly gave the boys a bit of energy."

The constant back-and-forth chat boiled as tempers flared over on a number of occasions on a dewy night in Hamilton.

"I love the verbal battle and trying to get into guys' heads and they certainly tried to do that too. Bring it on.

"You can't be silly and go throwing big haymakers otherwise you'll be sitting on the sideline for a few weeks. But it's a good way to bring some camaraderie and get the boys up."

As far as the actual rugby was concerned, Weber pointed at his troops' fortitude in overcoming some late obstacles - including the sin-binning of hooker Nathan Harris - to solider on and secure the win.

"We were all out on our feet after that last little push that the Sharks made, and it just shows the heart and character that we've got here.

"We knew that if we got our hands on the ball and held it for long periods we'd be able to score tries and sure enough we were able to do that."

The win lifts the Chiefs off the bottom of the New Zealand conference for the first time this season. After a campaign that began with three consecutive defeats, Weber pointed to Saturday night's effort and the previous weekend's stunning last-gasp draw against the Highlanders as proof of what his team's capable of.

"We've had people attacking us but we circled the wagons. It's the team that counts and we had the confidence so it's good to put it out on the paddock and show the competition what we can do."

At the centre of that resurgence has been the performance of a young core of players  namely the likes of backs Etene Nanai-Seturo and Tumua Manu - who Weber believes are starting to come into their own.

"We try to build it up through words throughout the season, but at the end of the day you have to do it through actions out on the field is where you get most of your confidence and they've shown it though the last few weeks."