Not only did the Lions, the high profile touring team made up of players from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, lose by 21-3 in Christchurch, but O’Driscoll played little more than a minute of the game before being take off on a stretcher with a badly dislocated shoulder.
The injury, which will necessitate surgery on his return home, means that O’Driscoll is out of the remainder of the tour.
Meanwhile, the circumstances surrounding the incident has sparked off a war of words between the rival camps.
O’Driscoll has consistently claimed that he was dangerously tackled off the ball by two New Zealand players, Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu, and then “speared” towards the ground.
The Lions cited both Umaga and Mealamu. However the citing commissioner felt there was no case to answer.
“I’ve no doubt it was a spear tackle that ended my tour. I could have broken my neck,” said O’Driscoll.
Tour manager Clive Woodward was also incensed by the incident: “In my view that was a very dangerous spear tackle,” he said.
To compound the Lions defeat, one of their forwards, Danny Grewcock of England, was banned for six months for biting Mealamu.
To rescue the series, the Lions, who will now be captained by Gareth Thomas of Wales, have to win the next two test matches against the New Zealanders.