Before last weekend drop goals in rugby union were, with a few potent exceptions, small beer. Then along came South Africa's Jannie de Beer with his own special brew. It was knock-out stuff. His world record five drop goals had England rocking and reeling and they awoke the next day with a massive World Cup hangover. A previously little-used tactic had garnered 15 precious points - the equivalent of two converted tries and a one point bonus - and effectively kicked England out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage. As one sage commentator said during the match, the old world mark stood at three drop goals because no player had tried to kick five. Before De Beer bombed the posts against England, the drop goal was more of a guerilla tactic. Or the white knight galloping into the flame-engulfed castle to save the stricken princess. Rob Andrew acted that white knight for England in the 1995 World Cup when his drop kick downed world champions Australia. That clincher was hailed from the heights as it was the conventional drop goal - a dramatic occurrence that traditionally decided the closest of encounters. Not any more. De Beer, who was acting on manager Nick Mallett's exhortation to 'go out and have a bash', has elevated the drop goal from chancy one-off to mainstream. That's quite a feat, especially as the drop kick is far from easy to execute. Even slow motion television replays fail to capture the timing that is required to execute the kick successfully, boot meeting ball a fraction of a second after it has touched the ground. This degree of difficulty has deterred even the most gifted of players to attempt drop goals in the heat of battle, but as De Beer proved it can be done with amazing results. The rarity of drop goals has meant that there is no real defence against them. England, in rugby league-like fashion, employed a flat defence and the players did not sniff any of De Beer's efforts. Mallett's intuitive tactic would have been for nothing if De Beer had not been in inspired form with the boot. Just like a golfer who sees the hole get bigger and bigger as the putts drop, the posts must have looked as wide as the Stade De France to De Beer. He could not miss. Now that the true value of drop goals has been determined it's likely they will become common currency in the game. Just as bouncers were routinely used to intimidate following the 'body line' cricket Tests between Australia and England and swerving free kicks graduated from the sole preserve of inventive Brazilian footballers to common use after being constantly replayed on television, the drop kick is here to thrill. Buy that man a beer.