For ex-pat Wanganui netballer and Silver Fern Jodi Brown, the most important matches to win in this season's ANZ Championship are the Kiwi derbies.

A netball nomad who has played in four of the five New Zealand squads in the transtasman competition, the 33-year-old shooter Brown joined Wellington's Mojo Pulse this season from the Southern Steel.

She commutes to the capital from Dunedin for training and games, and is gearing up for a big clash on Monday against the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch.

Currently at the bottom of the table after losses in the opening two rounds against the Melbourne Vixens (64-40) and Queensland Firebirds (52-46), the Pulse know they must register wins against fellow New Zealand teams to stay in the hunt come play-off time.


This year's finals format will be determined by the top three teams on each side of the Tasman in a new twist for the competition.

"While wins against the Australian teams are important and helpful, we know we have to beat the Kiwi teams to top the conference system," said Brown.

Legendary coach Lois Muir identified Brown, nee Te Huna, as a promising player when she was a teenager playing in Wanganui in 1998.

She moved to Wellington to complete her schooling and play for the Capital Shakers.

Earning her Silver Ferns call-up in 2002 and being part of the 2003 World Championship victory, she would later move to the Canterbury Flames, then the Auckland Diamonds, before captaining the Otago Rebels.

The introduction of the ANZ Championship in 2008 saw Brown on the move again - playing for the Tactix before the birth of her first child with her husband, top basketballer Markham Brown.

She went back to the Tactix, then switched to the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic in 2010, partnering Irene van Dyke, before withdrawing again to have her second child.

Brown made her fulltime comeback with the Southern Steel in 2012, but considers this move to the Pulse to be coming full circle.


"It's like coming back home.

"It's been a change of scenery ... new faces, new voices and I'm really enjoying it."

Brown stays with van Dyke when she's in the capital as they have a strong friendship which started when the giant South African moved to New Zealand.

"I had such a good time playing with her previously. We understand each other and have a telepathic sense between each other which also makes the playing side of things a little bit easier."

Brown remembers her old team the Tactix beat her current team in the upset of the season last year.

"I think they're really good.


"You don't really know what to expect and when it clicks for them it really clicks.

"If they can feed [shooter Mwayi] Kumwenda, then they're unstoppable. The key to winning against them is shutting down their attackers." -The game starts at 7.40pm on Monday, and will be shown on Sky Sport 1. The next home game will be March 30 against the Magic at Wellington's TSB Bank Arena.