Glasgow Warriors boss Gregor Townsend hailed his replacements after Thursday's 20-16 win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield in the first leg of the 1872 Cup.
Edinburgh led 16-9 at half-time but the visitors' were boosted by the impact of Josh Strauss, Dougie Hall, Leone Nakarawa and Moray Low off the bench in the second half.
"We had not defended very well early in the game and we had not been ambitious or accurate enough in attack," said Townsend.
"Later, I thought we played really well. The bench did very well. A pitch like that takes a lot out of you, and the way Edinburgh play takes a lot out of you as well, because they go phase after phase.
"So we used our bench, some for injuries and some for freshness. So much effort goes into the way Edinburgh play. It is tiring going through 20-odd phases. It's tiring to defend it but it must be tiring to go through all those rucks as well."
Townsend admitted that the game's magnitude contributed to his side's poor performance in the first half.
"I thought we got caught up in the emotion of the derby, with guys trying to fly up out of defence, tackle on their own and getting bumped off," he added.
"It just took some time to get into a rhythm, but a win gives you a nice boost and a nice feeling for the next few days."
Edinburgh's director of rugby Alan Solomons believes his side's poor performance in contact in the second half was a major contributing factor to their defeat.
"I think the breakdown was a key area," he said.
"I've got to have a close look at that, look at the video very carefully to see what went on there."
He feels one specific incident cost them the match. "I always thought it would be close," added Solomons.
"We were leading and had just made good yardage when our stand-off Greig Tonks unfortunately had the ball ripped from him and that led to the try. Apart from that they didn't look like scoring the try.
"But that's how [results in] derbies happen, often they turn on one particular incident. That's the difference."