AWAY team boss Gary Havelock insists he would have “bit your hand off” for Pirates to be in the position they are after the first leg of the Knockout Cup final.

Poole were beaten 47-43 by Scunthorpe Scorpions at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Sunday, leaving the tie well in the balance ahead of the second leg at Wimborne Road.

The defeat rounded off a tough week for Pirates, which saw them lose the Championship grand final to Glasgow Tigers over two legs.

Discussing the four-point loss at Scunthorpe, Havelock said: “If you had offered me that before the start of the meeting I would have bit your hand off!

“The guys did well. They put the disappointment of last week behind them, and that was immense I can tell you, and all worked really hard to keep things as tight as possible.

“I've said it before, but these guys are so great and easy to work with. My job has just really been to keep a watch on some of the little things and offer advice, but they know what is expected of them and know what they need to do.

“They have put us in a good position and I will do everything I possibly can to get down to Poole for the second leg, but be assured if I can't be there in person I will be there in spirit."

Weather-permitting, the second leg is due to take place at Poole on Wednesday night (7.30pm).

Poole have won the KO Cup in each of the past two years, while Scunthorpe have never lifted the trophy.