But the Azzurri were unable to hold on and Ireland promptly went down the other end and sealed the win - Ronan O'Gara dropping a goal to break the home fans hearts.
And after seeing his side drag themselves out of the mire a less-than-impressed O'Driscoll still found the positives in their performance.
"Some of the errors we made were poor and you can't afford to do that in test matches," said O'Driscoll.
"But that said, to be able to come back from that with four minutes to go and get the win was great for us.
"There were some uncharacteristic errors and we have no excuses for that because it's not as if we haven't been playing a lot of rugby.
"It was a substandard display. But we got the win and that's the only thing we can take out of the game."