The Melbourne juggernaut rolled on with a 14th win on the trot as they put paid to Newcastle at the Gold Coast.
In stark contrast, the Cowboys slumped to a fifth straight loss as they surrendered an early 12-0 lead before going down 34-18 to the Roosters.
Despite the fact they sit just one win outside the eight the Cowboys have a vastly inferior points differential to the other sides in the logjam from seventh to 12th, having conceded a tick under 40 points per game in their past five outings.
Even in the absence of Ryan Papenhuyzen, Christian Welch, Harry Grant and Nelson Asofa-Solomona the Storm still ran eight tries past the Knights and in the process posted 40 points or more for the 11th time this season.
Match: Cowboys v Storm
Round 19 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Cowboys: In the final team list released an hour before kick-off, regular hooker Jake Granville was announced in the fullback role with Scott Drinkwater reverting to five-eighth.
Daejarn Asi moves back to the interchange, with Lachlan Burr the 18th man.
Fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow may have played his last game of the season after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday. He faces up to six weeks on the sidelines.
Coen Hess has passed concussion protocols and start on the bench.
Murray Taulagi replaces Javid Bowen (knee) in the centres with Kane Bradley makes his NRL debut on the wing.
Rookie back-rower Heilum Luki is back from a one-match suspension, joining the bench at the expense of Peter Hola.
Tabuai-Fidow and Hola were omitted from the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off.
Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt requires one try for his century of NRL tries.
Storm: Ryan Papenhuyzen will return via the interchange bench with Nicho Hynes to start at fullback.
In changes announced an hour before kick-off, Trent Loeiro moves into the second row with Chris Lewis dropping back to the bench. Jordan Grant is the 18th man.
Josh Addo-Carr and Christian Welch are back on deck after being rested last week and interchange forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona returns from suspension.
Five-eighth Cameron Munster has been rested, along with Maroons teammate Felise Kaufusi and veteran Dale Finucane.
The Storm are aiming for a club record-equalling 15 consecutive victories.
Fullback for Cowboys is number 17 Jake GranvilleFullback for Storm is number 1 Nicholas Hynes
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Storm is number 2 Dean Ieremia
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Murray TaulagiCentre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Connelly LemueluCentre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Kane BradleyWinger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott DrinkwaterFive-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cooper Johns
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Tom DeardenHalfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Francis MoloProp for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece RobsonHooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLeanProp for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Shane Wright2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Mitchell Dunn2nd Row for Storm is number 18 Trent Loiero
Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason TaumaloloLock for Storm is number 13 Tui Kamikamica
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Tom GilbertInterchange for Storm is number 11 Chris Lewis
Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum LukiInterchange for Storm is number 15 Aaron Pene
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Coen HessInterchange for Storm is number 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Interchange for Cowboys is number 21 Daejarn AsiInterchange for Storm is number 17 Ryan Papenhuyzen
Reserve for Cowboys is number 18 Lachlan BurrReserve for Storm is number 19 Jordan Grant
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Tom Dearden v Jahrome Hughes: Cowboys coach Todd Payten was full of praise for his halfback's efforts against the Roosters, describing it as the former Bronco's best game since joining the club in June. Dearden came up with one line break, one line-break assist and a try assist as he asked plenty of questions of the Roosters defence but he'll need to go to another level again to break down the purple wall. Hughes also earned rave reviews from his coach for another polished display against the Knights and he's the perfect link man between the Storm's all-star backline and their powerhouse pack.
Since the Storm and Cowboys squared off in the 2017 grand final they have met on five occasions and the men from Melbourne have won all five, including a 36-20 victory at Sunshine Coast Stadium last year.
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