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If you ground the wire to the sender unit, the gauge should read "full". When the wire is not connected it should read "empty". If not you have a faulty panel unit or the wire to the tank unit is broken.
I don't have specific info on the Polo, but in the Golfs of that era I think there was a plastic retaining ring than unscrewed, after which the pump / sender unit was a bayonet fitting that came out after turning it anticlockwise a bit.
Remove the filler cap first to depressurise the system, don't get the hoses mixed up and be sure to disconnect the battery - you'll be opening the petrol tank !
Hope this helps, but a Haynes or Bentley manual will often repay the purchase price after only one job.