The U20 Thunderbolts succumbed to their second loss to North Queensland for the season, falling to the Cowboys 14-38 on Saturday.
Despite a bright start from the visitors, the Townsville based outfit proved too strong, pulling away during the second 40 minutes to distance themselves from the Thunderbolts.
Eric Smith’s side made a positive start against the third placed Cowboys, controlling possession for the early part of the contest.
However it was the home side who struck first to take the lead after Captain Brandon Smith broke through to give his side a 6-0 advantage.
The Thunderbolts then fell further behind after Kalyn Ponga broke through the defence on the right edge.
Needing a response, the young Storm outfit pushed hard but were outpointed again by Ponga and Smith as the pair ran riot during the opening stanza.
A late try during the opening half reduced the deficit at the break to 6-24.
Requiring the first points of the second half to work their way into the contest the Thunderbolts were able to find them through Cory Parker.
Any hopes of a Storm comeback was snuffed out with three unanswered tries for the hosts.
A late try to Angelo Leaupepe reduced the final margin but it was not enough for the visitors.
U20 Thunderbolts 14
Tries: Cory Parker 2, Scott Drinkwater
Goals: Jesse Arthars 1
U20 Cowboys 38
Tries: Brandon Smith 3, Kalyn Ponga 2, Michael Carroll, Emry Pere
Goals: Jacob Bourke 5