WELLINGTON Miles Killebrew Jersey , New Zealand (AP)An Australian team may have its best chance to end a two-year losing run against New Zealand sides in Super Rugby when the New South Wales Waratahs host the Auckland-based Blues in the weekend’s 12th round.The Kiwis’ winning streak stands at 36 matches against Australian teams and should reach 37 when the defending champion Crusaders play the Melbourne Rebels on Friday in Christchurch, given the Rebels have lost their last four games and the Crusaders have won their last five.But the Waratahs have a real chance to snap the streak on Saturday when they play the Blues in Sydney. The Waratahs lead the Australian conference with five wins and a draw after eight games while the Blues are once again at the bottom of the New Zealand conference with two wins from nine games.While the Waratahs are coming off their second bye of the season, both teams had embarrassing losses in their latest games. The Waratahs were beaten 29-0 at home by the Johannesburg-based Lions while the Blues were beaten 20-13 by the Jaguares, becoming the first New Zealand team to lose to the Argentinian side.Both also have had off-field distractions. The Blues have to fend off almost daily speculation over the future of head coach Tana Umaga as they stumble through another unsuccessful season, already with no hope of reaching the playoffs.Recently the Waratahs had to deal with controversy over anti-gay comments made by Wallabies fullback Israel Folau. And this week the team fined Wallabies scrumhalf Nick Phipps for misbehavior during his bachelor party – Phipps, who is the Waratahs’ club captain, apologized during a news conference for urinating on a bar.The Waratahs will enter the match as favorites on the basis of their superior winning record, though they have padded that record with wins over rivals in the weak Australian conference while the Blues owe their losing record to regular games against much stronger New Zealand teams. The Blues haven’t won a New Zealand conference match in two years.Captain Augustine Pulu said the Blues are not dwelling on the prospect of becoming the team that ends the New Zealand winning streak.“We don’t want to think about that too much,” Pulu said. “We know the Waratahs can play They’ve been more dynamic lately and their forward pack can get around and do that grunt work really well. For us it’s about fronting up and getting that set piece right first.”The Crusaders are confident of extending the streak against the Rebels and coach Scott Robertson says the beleaguered Blues might also keep the run alive.Robertson said even with the axing of the Western Force at the end of last season, the Australian teams lacked the player depth to be fully competitive over the course of the long Super Rugby season.“The depth of squad is always tested and that’s the most critical thing in Super Rugby,” he said. “If you’ve got the ability to go three or four deep in a position and still find ways to win Nick Bellore Jersey , you’re a chance.”In other 12th-round matches, the Hamilton-based Chiefs host the Jaguares, who have won their last three matches in Australia and New Zealand and now loom as playoffs hopes. The Hurricanes meet the Lions in Wellington in a repeat of the 2016 final.The Stormers host the Pretoria-based Bulls in Cape Town and the Durban-based Sharks meet the Dunedin-based Highlanders.The ACT Brumbies, Queensland and the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, who have lost their first nine matches and are the only winless team in the tournament, have weekend byes. GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Joe Philbin’s simple, no-nonsense and consistent approach as interim head coach is rubbing off on the Green Bay Packers.Winning helps reinforce the message.The Packers are 2-1 under Philbin going into their season finale against the Detroit Lions, who have stumbled to the finish line having lost seven of their past nine games.Coach Matt Patricia’s job seems safe, though his first year in the Motor City has definitely been disappointing. With the playoffs out of sight for each team, the Lions and Packers go into their game at Lambeau Field hoping to ride a win into the offseason.“The time is right now T.J. Jones Jersey ,” Patricia said. “That’s the great part about it, is the time is right now to go out and improve and get better, and that’s what we have to do.”Except that any improvement can’t help Detroit in the standings this year. The Lions (5-10) were assured of their first last-place finish since 2012 following a 27-9 loss to Minnesota last week.After firing Jim Caldwell following a 9-7 record last year, Detroit will finish with a worse record than in any of Caldwell’s four years leading the club.Asked this week if he was told by team management if he would return in 2019, Patricia said that he was “pretty confident. Everything for me right now is just keep moving forward and getting ready for the game this weekend.”While the Packers (6-8-1) are assured of a second straight losing season, they at least seem to be rejuvenated since Philbin was promoted from offensive coordinator to interim head coach following the firing of Mike McCarthy.A 44-38 win in overtime over the New York Jets finally got the Packers their only road victory of the season. Players have spoken of their respect for Philbin and their desire to win for him.“It’s relatable messages, it’s talking about his family and talking about things that are important to him,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “And then little nuggets that we can take with us. Easy connection points, I guess is the best way to put it.”Rodgers has known Philbin for a while, going back to the 2010 season when the Packers won the Super Bowl with McCarthy as coach and Philbin in his first stint as offensive coordinator.Philbin has also won over Davante Adams, who was drafted in 2014 and only started working with Philbin this year.“So I think that he kind of has his head in the right spot Kerry Hyder Jersey , and … he’s really easy to follow, because you know what you’re going to get every day,” Adams said. “You know, he makes it clear what he expects from you. That’s why I’m a big Joe advocate.”Another win could improve Philbin’s case to stay on after this season. Team president Mark Murphy has said that he wants to get a chance to see how Philbin fared over the final four games as Green Bay proceeded with its coaching search.Other notes and things to watch:RECORD WATCHWith 111 catches, Adams is two shy of breaking the club record set by Sterling Sharpe in 1993. He’s also 134 yards shy of breaking the single-season mark set by Jordy Nelson (1,519) in 2014. He said that he was optimistic that he would play after missing practice at midweek with a knee injury.THE END?Lions safety Glover Quin may be playing in his last NFL game at Green Bay. Quin, who turns 33 next month and has one year left on his contract, insisted he has not decided whether he wants to play next season. He considered retiring after last season.Quin has started 147 straight games, the longest active streak by an NFL safety. Houston drafted Quin in the fourth round in 2009 out of New Mexico and he signed with the Lions in 2013. Over the past six seasons, he is the league’s only player with at least 400 tackles, 15 interceptions Zach Zenner Jersey , 10 tackles for losses and five forced fumbles.LAMBEAU FINALES?Linebacker Clay Matthews missed practice at midweek with a back injury, while receiver Randall Cobb sat out while in the concussion protocol. Both veterans are free agents after this season, meaning they could be playing their last games at Lambeau as Packers — if they’re healthy enough to play at all. The coaching change leaves an extra layer of uncertainty to the offseason.SILVER LININGDetroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay made the most of the increased opportunities he had when Golden Tate was traded and when Marvin Jones was injured. Golladay, the second-year, third-round pick from Northern Illinois, had 70 receptions for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns after making 48 catches for 477 yards and three scores as a rookie. Eight percent of his catches gave Detroit first downs, trailing only Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin in the category.GOING STREAKINGThe Lions are going for their first four-game winning streak in the series against the Packers since the 1982-83 seasons. Detroit is also trying to win consecutive games at Lambeau for the first time since 1990-91.