The 26-year-old, who played the full 80-plus minutes against the NPC side, was his usual all-action self, making a superb decoy run for England full-back Josh Lewsey to bag a second-minute opener for the tourists.
O'Driscoll also put in one stand-out break in the second half past Bay skipper Wayne Ormond, but unfortunately his 40-metre run was tempered as the move ended with a forward pass.
"I'm pretty pleased. To start any tour with a victory is a must and we've managed that," said O'Driscoll in the aftermath of the Lions' first tie against Bay in 22 years.
"Sure there's things to improve on, but we'll take that.
"We got into our pattern very quickly but we took our foot off the pedal a little bit. Bay of Plenty are a great side, it was a tough, physical game and we knew they wouldn't lie down at 17-0.
"We turned over too much ball and let them win a lot of ball on the deck. Tactically we got it right in the second half, there were some big hard hits going in but we played it to the corners and played to our strengths," he told Sky Sports.
"Parts of the performance were pleasing - the first 15-20 minutes definitely. We'll move on game by game, look at the video and see where we can improve and hopefully that will come into play in the Taranaki game."
The first half injury of former England skipper Lawrence Dallaglio marred the Lions' New Zealand start, with the London Wasp now almost certainly out of the rest of the tour with a suspected dislocated ankle.
The 32-year-old was taken to a local hospital with his leg in a splint immediately and the prognosis is not good, accoring to Lions head coach Sir Clive Woodward.
He admitted: "I've just seen the doctor and Lawrence looks to have a dislocated ankle. I can't see any way he can take further part in the tour."
A replacement looks set to be confirmed in the next few hours.